‘A new low’: Biden admin eviscerated for response to ‘butcher of Tehran’ Raisi’s death


Top House Republicans are coming down hard on the Biden administration for expressing condolences for the death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, whose ruthless ways earned him the nickname “Butcher of Tehran.”

“It is absurd that the Biden administration touted their support for human rights while, in the same breath, offering official condolences for the ‘Butcher of Tehran.’ Clearly, the Democrat Party of today has become the pro-terrorist party,” House Majority Whip Tom Emmer, R-Minn., told Fox News Digital.

House GOP Conference Chair Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., called the State Department’s message “unacceptable, unnecessary, and outrageous.”

“Biden’s State Department expressing condolences for the death of a brutal and monstrous enemy of America who tortured and killed his own people and led the charge to fund terrorist proxies around the world that have killed American soldiers is a new low for Joe Biden,” Stefanik wrote in a Tuesday morning statement.

IRAN’S PRESIDENT, FOREIGN MINISTER, OTHER OFFICIALS CONFIRMED DEAD IN HELICOPTER CRASH

Rep. Elise Stefanik, late Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, and US President Biden

House Republicans like Rep. Elise Stefanik are going after President Biden’s State Department for expressing condolences over the death of Iranian President Raisi. (Getty Images)

“Sec. Blinken’s weak leadership and eagerness to appease the hostile Iranian regime reflects Biden’s policy of rolling over for our nation’s adversaries.”

Raisi and Iran’s foreign minister were declared dead on Monday following a helicopter crash in a mountainous area of northwest Iran, the country’s state TV reported.

The late conservative cleric was known for taking a brutal approach to silencing dissent, beginning in the 1980s when he was part of a four-judge panel accused of ordering the executions of as many as 30,000 political dissidents, according to some reports.

As president, he also oversaw a harsh government response to mass protests over the killing of a 22-year-old woman who was accused of not wearing her hijab properly.

UN HOLDS MOMENT OF SILENCE FOR ‘BUTCHER OF TEHRAN’ RAISI AFTER IRANIAN PRESIDENT DIES IN HELICOPTER CRASH

Iranian president mourned by crowd

People hold up posters of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi during a mourning ceremony for him at Vali-e-Asr square in downtown Tehran, Iran, Monday, May 20, 2024. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

The State Department released a brief statement upon news of Raisi’s death, “The United States expresses its official condolences for the death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, Foreign Minister Amir-Abdollahian, and other members of their delegation in a helicopter crash in northwest Iran. As Iran selects a new president, we reaffirm our support for the Iranian people and their struggle for human rights and fundamental freedoms.”

It prompted pushback from rank-and-file GOP lawmakers, in addition to leadership.

“Ebrahim Raisi was known as the ‘Butcher of Tehran’ for a REASON. He was an evil tyrant who persecuted & killed thousands of innocent Iranians & was a protégé of the Ayatollah himself,” Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla., wrote on X Tuesday. “The United States SHOULD NOT be sending condolences. The world is a safer place WITHOUT him.”

Rep. Mike Waltz, R-Fla., called on the Biden administration to “publicly denounce” Iran’s regime in place of offering condolences, in addition to backing Iranian resistance fighters and returning to “the Trump Admin’s campaign of maximum pressure.”

OUTRAGE AS IRAN PRESIDENT PREPARES TO ADDRESS UN: ‘WANTS TO KILL AMERICAN CITIZENS’

Tom Emmer

House Majority Whip Tom Emmer called the State Department statement ‘absurd.’

State Department spokesman Matt Miller defended the U.S. position when confronted about the controversy during a Monday afternoon press conference.

CLICK HERE TO FOR THE FOX NEWS APP

“We have been quite clear that Ebrahim Raisi was a brutal participant in the repression of the Iranian people for nearly four decades,” Miller said. “That said, we regret any loss of life. We don’t want to see anyone die in a helicopter crash. But that doesn’t change the reality of his record, both as a judge and as the president of Iran – the fact that he has blood on his hands. So I think most importantly, our fundamental approach to Iran has not changed and will not change.”

Fox News Digital reached out to the State Department for further comment.



Source link

Biden admin skewered by GOP for rule designed to ‘intentionally harm’ gun industry


FIRST ON FOX: Senate Republicans are scrutinizing President Biden’s Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo over a move they claim is designed to “intentionally harm” the U.S. firearm industry. 

Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., the ranking member of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, led 22 other Senate Republicans in calling on the Biden administration to withdraw a “deeply misguided rule and its associated license revocations.”

Last month, the Department of Commerce (DOC) announced an interim final rule (IFR) that would see valid export licenses revoked from American companies “that authorize exports of firearms to non-government end users” in certain areas. 

REPUBLICANS UNITE TO BLOCK WHITE HOUSE AND SCHUMER BACKED ‘FAKE BORDER BILL’

Tim Scott, Joe Biden

Sen. Tim Scott led over 20 Republicans in calling on Biden’s administration to withdraw a rule revoking export licenses for firearm companies. (Getty Images)

According to the DOC, the new rule is intended to “reduce the risk of legally exported firearms and related items being diverted or misused to fuel regional instability, drug trafficking, human rights violations, political violence, and other activities that undermine U.S. national security and foreign policy interests.”

However, Scott alleged in a letter to Raimondo that the new policy is an example of Biden using the administrative state and the rule-making process as a means to “target legal U.S. industries and advance progressive policies.” 

“We are concerned that the Department issued the Rule in an attempt to intentionally harm the firearms industry,” the letter continued. 

DUELING IVF BILLS TAKE CENTER STAGE AS PARTIES BUTT HEADS ON REPRODUCTIVE TECH REGULATION

Firearms

The Biden administration plans to impose new restrictions on firearms exports and increase scrutiny on transactions to limit diversions of guns to drug cartels, criminal groups, gangs and others. (Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images)

The Republicans slammed the fact that the new rule would “revoke existing licensing for 36 countries and subject current license holders to a new licensing system.” Per the lawmakers, this is unprecedented, as the U.S. “did not take such a drastic step even when acting on grave national security threats in the past, including previous actions related to Chinese hypertonic missiles, nuclear weapons proliferation, or China’s resumed exercise of authority over Hong Kong.”

The letter additionally requested that Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) Undersecretary Alan Estevez and Assistant Secretary Thea Kendler are made available to potentially testify before the banking committee. 

BALANCE OF POWER: VULNERABLE DEMS LOOK TO DIFFERENTIATE THEMSELVES FROM UNPOPULAR BIDEN

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo

Secretary Raimondo said the rule was due to national security concerns. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit, File)

The correspondence was co-led by Sen. Bill Hagerty, R-Tenn., and was signed by Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., John Thune, R-S.D., Marco Rubio, R-Fla., Tom Cotton, R-Ark., Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., and Rick Scott, R-Fla., among several others. 

Lawrence Keane, senior vice president and general counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), told Fox News Digital in a statement that the rule is “another example of the Biden administration’s whole-of-government attack on the firearm industry for political purposes.”

“This rule punishes firearm manufacturers and exporters by blocking hundreds of millions of dollars of lawful exports and will result in lost sales earnings and cost Americans good-paying manufacturing jobs,” he added. 

SEN DURBIN DEMANDS JUSTICE ALITO RECUSE FROM TRUMP CASES AFTER FLYING UPSIDE-DOWN US FLAG

Republican South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott

Sen. Scott has been critical of the Biden administration’s rule-making decisions. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Keane further alleged, “There is no foundation to the Biden administration’s claim this over-burdensome rule is necessary to reduce overseas crime or improve national security.”

The Department of Commerce did not provide comment to Fox News Digital. 





Source link

In Georgia, fierce state Supreme Court race, Republican congressional primary top ballots


Georgia’s elections on Tuesday include a state Supreme Court race that’s grown unusually heated by the sleepy standards of the state’s nonpartisan judicial elections, as well as a five-way GOP primary for an open seat in the strongly Republican 3rd Congressional District south and west of Atlanta.

Two Democratic congressional incumbents — U.S. Reps. David Scott and Lucy McBath — face primary challengers in metro Atlanta districts that were redrawn by Republicans after redistricting lawsuits.

Parties are also choosing their nominees for other congressional and state legislative seats and local offices including sheriffs, district attorneys and county commissioners.

TRUMP’S SURGE IN POLLS WITH BLACK VOTERS STUNS CNN ANALYST: ‘TRULY HISTORIC’

Runoffs will be held June 18 in races where candidates don’t win a majority.

Here’s a look at key races:

STATE SUPREME COURT

The May 21 vote is the general election for judicial candidates, who run without party labels.

Supreme Court Justice Andrew Pinson poses

Supreme Court Justice Andrew Pinson poses, April 17, 2024, in Atlanta. Voters are deciding the race between Pinson and Democratic former congressman John Barrow in a nonpartisan general election on May 21, 2024. (AP Photo/Mike Stewart, File)

Incumbent Justice Andrew Pinson, who was appointed to the nine-member court by Gov. Brian Kemp in 2022, is trying to win a six-year term. He is opposed by John Barrow, a former Democratic congressman.

Barrow says he believes Georgians have a right to abortion under the state constitution, while Pinson says it’s inappropriate for him to talk about issues and important not to make the race partisan.

Kemp and other conservatives intervened to aid Pinson. Barrow unsuccessfully sued in federal court, saying a state judicial agency was violating his free-speech rights when the agency warned Barrow his discussion of abortion might be violating judicial ethics.

Justices Michael Boggs, John Ellington and Nels Peterson are unopposed. Six judges on the Georgia Court of Appeals are also unopposed, while Jeff Davis and Tabitha Ponder are contending for an open seat on the court.

3RD CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT

Five Republicans are seeking their party’s nomination to succeed Republican U.S. Rep. Drew Ferguson, who is stepping down after four terms.

Former President Donald Trump has endorsed his onetime aide Brian Jack for the seat. Jack, who later worked for then-U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, parlayed Trump’s endorsement and his Washington contacts into a fundraising lead in his first run for office.

Also seeking the nomination are former state Sens. Mike Crane and Mike Dugan, former state Rep. Philip Singleton and party activist Jim Bennett. Dugan emphasized his successes as state Senate majority leader, while Crane highlighted his religious beliefs and opposition to abortion. Singleton promised not to compromise conservative principles.

The Republican nominee will be the favorite in a strongly Republican district that runs along the Alabama border from Carrollton to Columbus and swings east into the Atlanta suburbs around Peachtree City and Fayetteville.

On the Democratic side, Val Almonord and Maura Keller are seeking their party’s nomination.

13TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT

Scott faces six Democratic challengers in the 13th District in Atlanta’s southern and eastern suburbs as he seeks a 12th term. The challengers include former East Point City Council member Karen Rene’, former South Fulton City Council member Mark Baker and attorney Brian Johnson. On the Republican side, Jonathan Chavez is running against Johsie Cruz Fletcher.

MEET FANI WILLIS’ GOP CHALLENGER FOR THE TOP PROSECUTOR JOB IN DEEP-BLUE GEORGIA

The 13th District was significantly reconfigured in a new map, moving north and east into Rockdale County and parts of Newton and Gwinnett counties. Challengers are saying Scott, 78, is too old and out of touch. Scott said in March that he’s seeking another term to enhance funding for historically Black colleges such as Fort Valley State University, and to provide more assistance to struggling homeowners.

6TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT

McBath is running in her second new district in two years. In 2022, she jumped to a district that included parts of Gwinnett and Fulton counties, defeating fellow Democratic incumbent Carolyn Bourdeaux in a primary. Republicans again sharply reconfigured McBath’s district in a second round of redistricting last year after a court ordered new maps to remedy discrimination against Black voters. She then shifted to the new Democratic-leaning 6th District on the west side of Atlanta, which has no incumbent.

McBath, whose son was shot to death, has made gun control and reducing gun violence her primary focus. She also says she wants to work on reducing health care disparities in another term. She faces primary opposition from Cobb County Commissioner Jerica Richardson and state Rep. Mandisha Thomas, Democrats who say they could better represent the new 6th District. The Democratic winner faces Republican Jeff Criswell in November.

2ND CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT

Two years ago, Republicans had hoped they had a chance to defeat 16-term Democratic incumbent Sanford Bishop Jr. in southwest Georgia’s 2nd District. But Bishop won that election easily. Now four more Republicans are lining up to take a shot a Bishop, who is unopposed on the Democratic ballot.

Wayne Johnson, of Macon, who was an official in the U.S. Education Department under Trump, finished third in the Republican primary two years ago and is again seeking the nomination. Among other candidates is Chuck Hand, a Taylor County Republican Party official and construction superintendent who pleaded guilty a misdemeanor for illegally demonstrating in the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. He was sentenced to 20 days in federal prison and six months of probation. Also running is Michael Nixon, of Thomasville, a hospital purchasing director and Air Force veteran, and Regina “Reggie” Liparoto, of Columbus, a longtime conservative activist.

14TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT

Four Democrats in northwest Georgia’s 14th District are competing for the right to challenge Republican incumbent Marjorie Taylor Greene, who has no GOP opposition.

The Democrats are consultant Clarence Blalock, of Hiram; retired Army general Shawn Harris, of Cedartown; sales manager Deric Houston, of Dallas; and business manager Joseph Leigh, of Rossville. Harris has by far raised the most money of the four.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

For most candidates, their top issue is their distaste for Greene, a top ally of Trump who recently failed in an effort to oust House Speaker Mike Johnson. The winner will have an uphill fight in a heavily Republican district. Two years ago, Democrat Marcus Flowers raised more than $16 million in his challenge to Greene but still lost badly.

OTHER RACES

Republican U.S. Rep. Barry Loudermilk is the only other incumbent who faces a primary challenge. Retired banker and longtime Republican activist Lori Marie Pesta and retired airline pilot Mike Pons are running against Loudermilk in the 11th Congressional District northwest of Atlanta. Antonio Daza and Kate Stamper are seeking the Democratic nomination.

Democrats are also choosing nominees to challenge Republican incumbents in south and middle Georgia’s 8th District, northeast Georgia’s 10th District and in the 12th District around Augusta.



Source link

Biden wants to speed up backlog of migrant asylum seekers in blue cities as Dem pressure builds


The Biden administration is moving to resolve asylum cases more quickly in five major U.S. cities — as it continues to face heat from mayors and local officials over the effects of the ongoing crisis at the southern border.

The Departments of Justice and Homeland Security announced a “Recent Arrivals (RA) Docket process” which it says will allow them to resolve cases of illegal immigrant single adults more quickly. 

The administration said in a statement that it will allow it to more swiftly deport those without valid asylum claims, or to grant relief and protection to those who do. Currently, the wait time for asylum cases can be up to seven years, due to the enormous backlog for the immigration courts. That backlog has skyrocketed in recent years.

REPUBLICANS BLAST BIDEN ADMINISTRATION’S SNUB OF REQUEST FOR INFO ON TERROR WATCHLIST NATIONALS

Mayorkas testifies on Capitol Hill

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas speaks on Capitol Hill, on Wednesday, April 10. (AP/Mark Schiefelbein)

The docket will operate in five cities: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and New York City, and the aim will be to prioritize cases and aim to decide cases within six months, although specific circumstances could change that.

The administration says the new process will help, but that ultimately it needs funding and fixes for a “broken” system from Congress.

MAYORKAS FORCED TO ADMIT MORE MIGRANTS HAVE CROSSED US BORDER UNDER BIDEN THAN TRUMP 

“Today, we are instituting with the Department of Justice a process to accelerate asylum proceedings so that individuals who do not qualify for relief can be removed more quickly and those who do qualify can achieve protection sooner,” DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement. “This administrative step is no substitute for the sweeping and much-needed changes that the bipartisan Senate bill would deliver, but in the absence of Congressional action we will do what we can to most effectively enforce the law and discourage irregular migration.”

An accompanying rule will codify the process and standards, allowing immigration judges to expedite cases more quickly. 

The Biden administration has been facing continued pressure from cities, including Chicago and New York, where Democratic officials have demanded the federal government do more to help them with the numbers they are seeing.

Eric Adams

New York City Mayor Eric Adams has called for expedited work permits and has been critical of the Biden administration. (Jeenah Moon/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Mayors have demanded $5 billion in funding, in addition to expedited processes to allow migrants to work and a national resettlement strategy.

“We are at an untenable situation right now, and it is painful for us. It’s painful for the city,” New York City Mayor Eric Adams said in December. “And I think that you see it being reflected in the polls. It is because our federal government’s actions have taken a toll on the people of this city.”

ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS FROM FOREIGN ADVERSARY HIT NEW HIGH AMID NATIONAL SECURITY FEARS 

“We need the president to extend the same economic opportunities long term for our undocumented brothers and sisters, so they can build a better life here in the city of Chicago or wherever else they decide to live,” Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson said in April.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE COVERAGE OF THE BORDER SECURITY CRISIS

Mayorkas on Friday acknowledged that “several million” migrants had come into the U.S. under the Biden administration, but blamed it on hemispheric conditions and that broken system.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Adams, meanwhile, caused controversy last week by calling for migrants to be allowed to work as lifeguards, saying that some are “excellent swimmers.” His office noted that there have been more than 197,000 arrivals since 2022 and said that “there is nothing more un-American than not allowing someone to work.”





Source link

Embattled Trump prosecutor fights to keep job as Georgia among five states holding elections Tuesday


Four states – Georgia, Kentucky, Idaho, and Oregon, hold primary contests on Tuesday, including several congressional showdowns that could shape key contests in the autumn battle for control of the House.

And in a move that will give Republicans a bit of breathing room as they protect their fragile, razor-thin majority, voters in a California congressional district will choose a successor for former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

But potentially grabbing the most attention during a day of coast-to-coast contests will be a county prosecutor primary in Atlanta.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, who is leading the prosecution of former President Donald Trump in his 2020 election interference case, faces a Democratic primary challenge from attorney Christian Wise Smith, in a rematch of their race four years ago.

TRUMP PROSECUTOR IN GEORGIA FACING PRIMARY CHALLENGE 

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis looks on during a hearing in the case of the State of Georgia v. Donald John Trump at the Fulton County Courthouse on March 1, 2024, in Atlanta. (Alex Slitz-Pool/Getty Images)

Willis has faced plenty of scrutiny for her handling of the sweeping racketeering case against Trump’s alleged effort to overturn his narrow 2020 election loss to President Biden in Georgia.

Nearly two months ago, a judge ruled that Willis could continue leading the prosecution of the case as long as Nathan Wade – a special prosecutor she appointed and had a romantic relationship with – resigned.

Willis is expected to fend off a challenge in the primary from local attorney Christian Wise Smith, but will likely face more attacks in the general election from Republican Courtney Kramer, a lawyer who interned for Trump.

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee, who is the judge in the Trump case, is also up for re-election and is facing a challenge from attorney and radio host Robert Patillo in a nonpartisan race.

SPEAKER JOHNSON PUSHES FOR ‘DECORUM’ IN HOUSE AFTER MARJORIE TAYLOR GREENE SPARS WITH DEMOCRATS 

With no gubernatorial or Senate races on the ballot this year in Georgia, the state’s 14 congressional districts will take top billing.

Controversial Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a high-profile Trump ally, is running unopposed in the GOP primary in Georgia’s 14th Congressional District, in the state’s heavily conservative northwestern corner.

Four Democrats are facing off in the race to take on Greene in November.

Republican Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene

Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Republican from Georgia, speaks to members of the media following the third vote on the first session of the 118th Congress in the House Chamber in Washington, DC, US, on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2023. (Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Trump is taking sides in the GOP primary race for the open seat in Georgia’s 3rd District, in central-western Georgia. The former president is backing former adviser Brian Jack, who is facing off against five rivals in the far-right field in the solid red district.

Two incumbent Democrats in re-drawn districts in metropolitan Atlanta – Reps. Lucy McBath and David Scott face primary challengers. So does Republican Rep. Barry Loudermilk.

In Oregon, it’s a battle between the progressive and establishment wings of the Democratic Party in two congressional primaries.

GOP HOPES OF HOLDING HOUSE COULD COME DOWN TO SIX RACES 

Two candidates are facing off in the race to succeed longtime Democratic Rep. Earl Blumenauer in the heavily-blue Portland anchored 3rd Congressional District.

And in the 5th District, a crucial swing district stretching south from suburban Portland that will likely help determine if the GOP can hold on to its majority, Democrats will choose a nominee to take on GOP Rep. Lori Chavez-DeRemer, who narrowly won two years ago.

Meanwhile, Republicans will choose nominees in the state’s 4th and 6th Districts, where the GOP will aim to flip blue seats to red seats in November.

To Oregon’s south, in California, there’s an all-Republican special Congressional election to fill the remainder of McCarthy’s term in the heavily red 20th District, located in the southern portion of the state’s Central Valley.

McCarthy at podium sulking

Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., speaks to reporters hours after he was ousted as Speaker of the House, Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2023, at the Capitol in Washington.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Vince Fong, a state lawmaker and former McCarthy district director, has the backing of the former House speaker as well as Trump’s endorsement as he faces off against Mike Boudreaux, a local county sheriff.

The winner will fill the seat for the rest of the year and will instantly boost by one the GOP’s current 217-213 majority.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Fong and Boudreaux will face off again in November for a full two-year term.

Republican Reps. Thomas Massie of Kentucky (left) and Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia call for the ouster of House Speaker Mike Johnson  during a press conference  outside the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on May 1, 2024. (Photo by Brendan SMIALOWSKI / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images) (hoto by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

The race to watch in Kentucky is the Republican primary in the 4th Congressional District, where Rep. Thomas Massie – who backed Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in the GOP presidential primary and pushed along with Greene to oust current House Speaker Mike Johnson – is facing a challenge from Trump supporter Eric Deters.

Kentucky and Oregon will also hold presidential primaries on Tuesday. 

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



Source link

NY v Trump: Judge to consider defense motion to dismiss after prosecution rests case


Judge Juan Merchan could rule Tuesday morning on Trump defense attorneys’ motion to dismiss the case against the former president altogether after the prosecution rested its case following days of testimony from its star witness, Michael Cohen.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg charged Trump with 34 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree. Prosecutors must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Trump falsified business records 34 times to conceal a $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels, a pornographic performer, in the lead-up to the 2016 election to silence her about an alleged affair with Trump in 2006. 

Trump has pleaded not guilty to all charges and maintains his innocence.

Michael Cohen is questioned by prosecutor Susan Hoffinger on re-direct before Justice Juan Merchan, as former U.S. President Donald Trump watches during Trump's criminal trial

This courtroom sketch shows Michael Cohen being questioned by prosecutor Susan Hoffinger on redirect during former President Trump’s criminal trial in New York City on May 20, 2024. (Reuters/Jane Rosenberg)

TRUMP SLAMS NY COURT SYSTEM, BOASTS HE’S GOING ‘TO WIN’ EMPIRE STATE

After Michael Cohen’s fourth day of testimony was complete, the prosecution rested its case, and Trump defense attorneys called two of their own witnesses. 

At the end of court for the day, Trump defense attorney Todd Blanche asked for an immediate order of dismissal, saying there is “no evidence” that the filings or business records at the center of the case were false, that there are “absolutely no false business filings.” 

Blanche said there is no dispute that Cohen acted as a personal attorney for Trump in 2017 and that there is no evidence or intent by Trump to mislead, hide or falsify business records.

Donald Trump / Michael Cohen

Donald Trump and Michael Cohen (Getty Images)

Blanche said there would be records of intent to defraud, if they existed, and that there were no other crimes being covered up. He said there was no evidence of anyone thinking of a campaign finance charge when the payment was made to Stormy Daniels or when Cohen and then-Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg developed the repayment plan.

Blanche said Trump paid Cohen a $35,000 “monthly retainer,” which is what the records state, and said there is no evidence from any witness to prove any criminal intent.

Reflecting on the prosecution’s case, Blanche pointed to the alleged “catch and kill” strategy used to prevent a “demonstrably false” story a Trump Tower doorman had about Trump from being published.

“How on Earth is keeping a false story from voters criminal?” Blanche asked, adding it was “not a catch and kill and certainly not a criminal catch and kill.”

NY V TRUMP: MICHAEL COHEN ADMITS TO STEALING TENS OF THOUSANDS FROM FORMER PRESIDENT’S BUSINESS

“There is no way the court should let this case go to the jury with Mr. Cohen’s testimony,” Blanche said, adding that Cohen has lied under oath in the past and during the current criminal trial in Merchan’s courtroom. 

Merchan asked Blanche if he should “find Mr. Cohen not credible by a matter of law,” to which Blanche said “yes.”

“So, you want me to take it out of the jury’s hands?” Merchan asked, with Blanche responding that Cohen’s entire testimony should not be considered by the jury. 

Merchan told Blanche that if Cohen’s “lies” were “irrefutable,” then he would be able to convince the jury of that.

Michael Cohen is asked about taking an oath as he is cross-examined by defense lawyer Todd Blanche during former U.S. President Donald Trump's criminal trial

Michael Cohen is cross-examined by defense lawyer Todd Blanche during former President Trump’s criminal trial in New York City on May 16, 2024, as shown in this courtroom sketch. (Reuters/Jane Rosenberg)

The prosecution then argued that under the New York state falsifying business records statute, anyone “causing” the falsified records can be punished.

“As a matter of law, it is sufficient, more than sufficient, that the defendant set in motion the sequence of events leading to the falsification of business records,” prosecutor Matthew Colangelo argued.

Merchan said he would reserve a ruling on whether to dismiss the case before the jury can deliberate.

Before the afternoon development, Trump defense attorneys on Monday continued to cross-examine Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer and self-described “fixer,” who testified that he stole $30,000 from the Trump Organization.

Cohen said the move was “almost like self-help” because he was “angry” about his bonus being reduced.

Cohen testified that he was supposed to pay the $30,000 he withdrew from the bank to a tech company, Red Finch, in addition to $20,000 he had already paid them. Instead, he failed to make the payment, collected the $30,000 for himself, and led the Trump Organization to believe he had paid the total.

Prosecutors then briefly questioned Cohen on redirect, where he said that he had “more than 20” conversations with Trump about Stormy Daniels in 2016 and that Trump “no doubt” had signed off on the hush money payment for Daniels. 

NY V TRUMP: MICHAEL COHEN TESTIFIES HE’S CONSIDERING CONGRESSIONAL RUN

Cohen has testified that he personally made the $130,000 payment to Daniels using a home equity line of credit in an effort to conceal the payment from his wife. Cohen said he did this because Trump told him to “handle it” and prevent a negative story from coming out ahead of the 2016 election.

Cohen testified that he was “reimbursed $420,000” for the $130,000 he paid to Daniels. Cohen said Weisselberg suggested he “gross up” the payments and that Trump knew the details of that reimbursement. 

Last week, the prosecution presented Cohen with 11 checks totaling $420,000. Cohen confirmed that they were all received and deposited. The checks had a description of “retainer,” which Cohen said was false.

But Monday, the prosecution rested its case against the former president.

Trump defense attorneys called two witnesses: paralegal Daniel Sitko and a former legal adviser to Michael Cohen, Robert Costello. 

Sitko testified that Cohen and Costello had 75 phone calls in which Cohen told Costello that Trump knew nothing about the payment to Stormy Daniels. 

Justice Juan Merchan presides as Michael Cohen is cross examined by defense lawyer Todd Blanche during former U.S. President Donald Trump's criminal trial

This courtroom sketch shows presiding Judge Juan Merchan during former President Trump’s criminal trial in New York City on May 14, 2024. (Reuters/Jane Rosenberg)

Costello took the stand and testified that Cohen told him “numerous times” that Trump knew nothing of the payments, recalling Cohen telling him: “I swear to God, Bob, I don’t have anything on Donald Trump.”

Cohen, earlier in the day, recalled that he told numerous people that Trump knew nothing about the payment.

COHEN’S BOMBSHELL ADMISSION COULD LEAD TO HUNG JURY, IF NOT ACQUITTAL: EXPERT

But during his testimony, Costello clashed with Merchan. Costello audibly and visibly responded with disapproval to Merchan sustaining multiple objections from the prosecution concerning his testimony about Cohen. 

“I’m sorry?” Merchan said to Costello after one reaction before clearing the courtroom.

“I want to discuss proper decorum in my courtroom,” Merchan said after the jury left. “You don’t say strike it, because I’m the only one who can strike it.”

Merchan directed Costello, a former federal prosecutor, not to respond, roll his eyes or react in any way to his rulings.

Before the jury returned to the courtroom, Costello looked at Merchan, prompting the judge to ask, “Are you staring me down?” 

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Prosecutor Susan Hoffinger was leading the cross-examination of Costello. She said she had approximately 45 minutes left for questioning.

The defense said they won’t call any other witnesses, signaling that Trump won’t take the stand in his own defense.

Closing arguments are currently set for next Tuesday.



Source link

Cohen’s bombshell admission could lead to hung jury, if not acquittal: expert


Former Trump attorney Michael Cohen’s admission in court Monday that he stole from the Trump Organization further damaged the disbarred attorney’s credibility, and could lead at the very least to a deadlocked jury that cannot reach a verdict, a legal expert told Fox News Digital. 

“I think after last week’s cross-examination, Michael Cohen’s credibility as a witness had already pretty much been eviscerated,” Heritage Foundation senior legal fellow Zack Smith told Fox News Digital in a phone interview. “If there were any lingering doubts in the minds of any jurors, I suspect today’s testimony was even more damaging.”

“It does make you wonder two things: One, did the prosecution not know about this before they put Michael Cohen on the stand? I find that doubtful. But if they didn’t, that’s its own issue. But if they knew about this, and chose to put Michael Cohen on the stand regardless, that in some ways is even more shocking. Because it really it begs the question of what kind of credibility can Michael Cohen be expected to have, given that even he admitted to stealing from the Trump Organization for his own benefit,” Smith continued. 

Cohen admitted in testimony Monday that he stole $30,000 from the Trump Organization by overstating how much he paid a tech company that provided services for the Trump Organization. Cohen said he told former Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg in 2017 that he had paid tech firm Red Finch $50,000 out of his own pocket, and that he still needed to be reimbursed for the payment. 

NY V TRUMP: MICHAEL COHEN ADMITS TO STEALING TENS OF THOUSANDS FROM FORMER PRESIDENT’S BUSINESS

Michael Cohen outside frowning

Michael Cohen, ex-lawyer for former President Donald Trump, continued his testimony on Monday. (Yuki Iwamura/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Weisselberg and Cohen in 2017 calculated a $420,000 repayment to Cohen for his $130,000 payment to former pornography star Stormy Daniels, as well as the alleged $50,000 payment to Red Finch. Cohen’s payment to Daniels came ahead of the 2016 election to quiet her claims of an alleged affair with Trump. 

Cohen said Monday before the court, however, that he only paid Red Finch $20,000 – meaning he pocketed $30,000 when he was reimbursed. 

“You stole from the Trump Org, right?” Trump attorney Todd Blanche asked Cohen Wednesday morning. 

“Yes, sir,” Cohen responded. 

NY V. TRUMP: MICHAEL COHEN TESTIFIES HE’S CONSIDERING CONGRESSIONAL RUN

He testified that the Trump Organization thought he paid the full amount, for which he was still reimbursed despite not having actually paid it.

Donald Trump in court sketch

Former President Trump listens as Michael Cohen is cross-examined by defense lawyer Todd Blanche in Manhattan state court in New York City, May 16, 2024, in this courtroom sketch. (Reuters/Jane Rosenberg )

“You lied to Weisselberg about how much you needed for Red Finch?” Blanche asked Cohen, with Cohen confirming he had. 

“Have you paid back the Trump Organization for the money you stole from them?” Blanche also asked.

“No, sir,” Cohen responded.

Later Monday, Cohen said taking the $30,000 was “almost like self help,” claiming he took the funds because he was “angry” about his bonus getting slashed. 

TRUMP SLAMS NY COURT SYSTEM, BOASTS HE’S GOING ‘TO WIN’ EMPIRE STATE

“I was angry because of the reduction in the bonus and I just felt like it was almost like self help,” Cohen said.

“To have my bonus cut by 2/3 was very upsetting to say the least,” he later added.

Smith continued in his comment to Fox News Digital that the admission in court could potentially impact the jury’s verdict in the case.

court sketch of Michael Cohen on witness stand frowning

Michael Cohen is questioned by defense lawyer Todd Blanche during former President Trump’s criminal trial in New York City, May 14, 2024, in this courtroom sketch. (Reuters/Jane Rosenberg )

“It’s increasingly likely that even if you don’t get an outright acquittal, I think there’s a very good chance you could at least – at least – get a hung jury in this case. And keep in mind, the reason Michael Cohen’s testimony is so pivotal is because Alvin Bragg has to bootstrap what would ordinarily be misdemeanor bookkeeping charges into this felony charge. [He has to] basically show that those bookkeeping offenses were made in the furtherance of, or in an effort to cover up, this other offense, which it looks like is this supposed campaign finance violation,” Smith said. 

NY V. TRUMP TO RESUME WITH CONTINUED CROSS-EXAMINATION OF MICHAEL COHEN AS TRIAL NEARS CONCLUSION

Trump was charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree in the case. DA Alvin Bragg must prove to the jury that not only did Trump falsify the business records related to payments to Stormy Daniels, but that he did so in furtherance of another crime – conspiracy to promote or prevent election. 

Donald Trump in bright blue tie

Former President Trump speaks to the media as he leaves Manhattan Criminal Court on April 22, 2024, in New York City. (Brendan McDermid-Pool/Getty Images)

“If he can’t do that, then the bookkeeping charges themselves would just be misdemeanors, and the statute of limitations has already run on those misdemeanor offenses. And so that’s why Michael Cohen’s testimony is so critical. And I have to tell you, the fact that Alvin Bragg and his team lean so heavily on Michael Cohen, made him become the linchpin of their case in some ways, is absolutely shocking to be perfectly honest.”

MICHAEL COHEN ONCE SWORE TRUMP WASN’T INVOLVED IN STORMY DANIELS PAYMENT, HIS EX-ATTORNEY TESTIFIES

Smith is joined by fellow legal experts who sounded off Monday that Cohen’s admission to stealing has further torpedoed his credibility. The comments Monday come after Cohen had already repeatedly been labeled a “grifter” and liar by legal experts. Cohen is a disbarred attorney who was sentenced to three years in prison in 2018 after he pleaded guilty to charges such as campaign finance fraud and lying to Congress.

“It was quite a morning to have someone admit to stealing money from his client and then confirm that he wants to run for Congress. It will be a novel campaign: people usually wait to get into Congress before they commit major felonies,” Fox News contributor Jonathan Turley posted on X. “Committing major larceny is not a particularly appealing pitch for taking an office with the power over the purse. Then again, Cohen can claim that Congress cannot possibly corrupt him… he was corrupt before he went to Congress.”

Amid his testimony Monday, Cohen said he’s mulling a potential congressional run, citing he has the “best name recognition out there.”

FLASHBACK: TRUMP-MANHATTAN DA CASE: BOB COSTELLO TESTIFIES TO GRAND JURY, SAYS MICHAEL COHEN IS A ‘SERIAL LIAR’

Fox News legal editor Kerri Kupec Urbahn said Monday that the defense’s cross-examination of Cohen has been a “total disaster for the state.”

“We learned that he stole from Donald Trump as he was negotiating that repayment plan, that repayment plan that we all heard about directly from him last week on the stand where he made it seem like he was just trying to get his money back, when, in fact, he was pocketing thousands of dollars on top of it,” Urbahn said.

“To show that he actually stole from the Trump Organization, even as they were structuring a deal to pay him $35,000 a month is an enormous big deal,” Fox News contributor Andy McCarthy told Fox News’ Bill Hemmer on “America’s Newsroom.” “… He was monetizing the fact that he was the president of the United States’s private lawyer.… He was very much enriched by this arrangement.”

NY V. TRUMP: AS ‘STAR WITNESS’ MICHAEL COHEN TESTIFIES, TRUMP ALLIES FLOCK TO COURT TO ‘SUPPORT THEIR FRIEND’

When asked if Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg could charge Cohen for his admission of stealing from the Trump Organization, Smith said it would come down to whether the statute of limitations has passed in New York and if Cohen struck an immunity deal. 

MICHAEL COHEN TESTIFIES HE SECRETLY RECORDED TRUMP IN LEAD-UP TO 2016 ELECTION

Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg holding coffee and donuts

District Attorney Alvin Bragg arrives at Manhattan Criminal Court, April 16, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Yuki Iwamura)

“I would also need to know whether or not there’s been any type of immunity deal offered in exchange for his testimony. Of course, that information should have been turned over to the defense… because, of course, that goes to the weight of his testimony, if the jurors would find him credible or not. So there’s more information I would need to know before you know whether he could technically be prosecuted,” Smith said. 

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

“But certainly he’s admitted to a crime under oath, which would ordinarily subject someone to criminal charges, unless there’s been some type of immunity or reach or unless the statute of limitations is run or something along those lines.”



Source link

Arpaio verdict reportedly costing taxpayers some $314 million


Seven years after Joe Arpaio was ousted as sheriff of Arizona’s most populous county, taxpayers are still footing the bills from a racial profiling verdict over his signature immigration crackdowns – and those costs have been getting heavier since.

The tab for the legal and compliance costs in overhauling the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office is expected to reach $314 million by mid-summer 2025, including $41 million approved Monday by county officials — the most expensive for Maricopa County taxpayers since the lawsuit was filed in 2007.

Nearly 11 years ago, a federal judge concluded sheriff’s deputies had racially profiled Hispanics in Arpaio’s traffic patrols that targeted immigrants. Consequently, the judge ordered costly overhauls of the agency’s traffic patrol operations and, later, its internal affairs unit.

ARIZONA AG CONFIRMS RUDY GIULIANI SERVED IN ELECTIONS CASE AMID FORMER TRUMP ASSOCIATE’S 80TH BIRTHDAY PARTY

The taxpayer spending is expected to continue until the sheriff’s office attains full compliance with the court-ordered changes for three straight years. Though progress has been made on some fronts, the agency hasn’t yet been deemed fully compliant.

The money being spent on turning around the sheriff’s office looms large in law enforcement and political circles in Arizona.

Earlier this year, the heavy compliance costs were cited by critics who said the city of Phoenix should resist entering a consent decree with the U.S. Justice Department, which is investigating the city’s police department. In recent weeks, the financial toll was brought up by immigrant rights advocates as they criticized a proposed ballot measure before the Arizona Legislature that would draw local police into immigration enforcement.

Raul Piña, a longtime member of a community advisory board created to help improve trust in the sheriff’s office, has criticized the efforts by Arpaio and his immediate successor, Sheriff Paul Penzone, to comply with the court-ordered changes.

Joe Arpaio

FILE – In this Aug. 26, 2019, file photo, former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio poses at his private office in Fountain Hills, Ariz. On Monday, May 20, 2024, county officials said legal and compliance costs in a racial profiling lawsuit over Arpaio’s immigration crackdowns are expected to reach $314 million by mid-summer of 2025. In 2013, a federal judge concluded the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office had profiled Latinos in Arpaio’s signature traffic patrols that targeted immigrants, leading to massive court-ordered overhauls of both the agency’s traffic operations and its internal affairs department. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

But Piña said the agency might finally be turning the corner under the leadership of Penzone’s replacement, Sheriff Russ Skinner. While pointing out his comments shouldn’t be considered an endorsement of Skinner, Piña said he was impressed when seeing the current sheriff squarely acknowledge the agency’s failures at a community meeting.

“For the first time that I’ve been involved, the sheriff finally said, ‘We own this, we have to fix this,’” said Piña.

Skinner’s office didn’t respond Monday to a request for comment.

The overwhelming majority of the spending goes toward hiring employees to help meet the court’s requirements and a separate staff working on the court’s behalf to monitor the sheriff office’s compliance with both overhauls.

Arpaio led 20 of the large-scale patrols targeting immigrants from January 2008 through October 2011. Under Arpaio’s leadership, the agency continued immigration enforcement in smaller, more routine traffic patrols until spring 2013.

That led to Arpaio’s conviction for criminal contempt of court for disobeying a judge’s 2011 order to stop the patrols. He was spared a possible jail sentence when his misdemeanor conviction was pardoned by then-President Donald Trump in 2017.

Arpaio, who turns 92 next month and is running for mayor of the affluent suburb where he has long resided, said he has no regrets about launching immigration crackdowns.

He blamed the judge’s ruling for the ongoing taxpayer costs and said Arizona’s 2005 immigrant smuggling ban gave him authority to conduct the patrols. “I did what I was supposed to do,” Arpaio said.

Around the time that the anti-smuggling law was passed, advocates for tougher immigration enforcement said cracking down on the problem would help reduce the financial losses that Arizona suffers from its porous border with Mexico.

In an interview Wednesday, Arpaio dodged a question about whether compliance costs from the profiling case would exceed any savings that the public might have gained from such enforcement efforts. Instead, he focused on the influx of people crossing the U.S.-Mexico border in recent years.

“And you’re complaining about me – that I cost taxpayers money?” Arpaio said. “Start adding up what’s going on today.”

Traffic-stop studies conducted since the profiling verdict show deputies often treat drivers who are Hispanic and Black differently than other drivers, though the reports stop short of saying Latinos were still being profiled.

While the profiling case focused on the agency’s traffic patrols, the judge presiding over the lawsuit later ordered changes to the sheriff’s internal affairs operation, which critics alleged was biased in its decision-making under Arpaio and shielded sheriff’s officials from accountability.

Penzone, who served as sheriff from 2017 until his resignation effective in January, was found in civil contempt of court in November 2022 for taking too long to close internal affairs investigations. The internal affairs unit has faced criticism for having a crushing backlog of open cases. Over the last year, the backlog has been reduced from about 1,900 to 1,600 cases.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

The agency’s compliance percentages are near or at 100% on two of the three court orders issued in the case. But its scores on the third court order, issued in November 2022, are more modest.



Source link

Sen. Joe Manchin tells GOP colleagues: ‘When you get a chance to secure the border, take it’


Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., on Monday had some words for his Republican colleagues who may be on the fence about voting on another border bill later this week.

Asked whether he would vote on a second attempt at passing a border bill, Schumer said he would always vote to secure the border “better than what it is today.” 

“I would encourage my Republicans friends to — no matter what games you think that might be being played — when you get a chance to secure the border, take it. Take it because we need it that bad,” Schumer said. 

GOP SENATE CANDIDATE IN CRUCIAL STATE RIPS SCHUMER’S IMMIGRATION PUSH AFTER BORDER TRIP: ‘HEIGHT OF CYNICISM’

Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin wearing glasses

Sen. Joe Manchin pushed Republicans to vote on another bill to secure the border. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

His comments come a day after Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., told his colleagues that the Senate will once again vote on a bipartisan border security bill this week. An effort in February collapsed after Republicans withdrew their support at the behest of former President Donald Trump. 

VULNERABLE HOUSE DEM FLIP-FLOPS ON IMMIGRATION AFTER DISMISSING BORDER WALL AS ‘SILLY’

Chuck Schumer raising his hands

Johnson had to negotiate a bipartisan spending agreement with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

The bill failed a test vote in February, by a vote of 49-50, short of the 60 votes needed to proceed. 

Schumer blamed Republicans for acquiescing to the GOP frontrunner in the presidential race. Republicans, meanwhile, objected to tying the bill to U.S. foreign aid for Ukraine and Israel. Schumer said the bill to be voted on this week would stand alone.  

Republicans in both chambers of Congress have signaled they will band together to block any hope of a Democrat-backed border bill getting to the finish line. 

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Record numbers of migrants have been caught crossing the U.S.-Mexico border since President Biden took office in 2021, and border security has become one of the leading issues in the presidential campaign.

Fox News Digital’s Adam Shaw and Reuters contributed to this report.



Source link

2024 showdown: Trump tops Biden in April campaign cash dash


Join Fox News for access to this content

You have reached your maximum number of articles. Log in or create an account FREE of charge to continue reading.

Please enter a valid email address.

With five and a half months to go until the November election, former President Donald Trump enjoys the edge over President Biden in many national polls and surveys in the key battleground states that will likely decide their 2024 rematch.

And in April, for the first time, Trump also enjoyed the lead in monthly fundraising.

The president’s campaign announced on Monday evening that they and the Democratic National Committee hauled in over $51 million in fundraising last month. 

That’s significantly less than the $76 million that the former president and the Republican National Committee raised in April, according to an announcement earlier this month.

THE BLUE STATES TRUMP AIMS TO FLIP RED IN HIS 2024 REMATCH WITH BIDEN

Trump and the RNC announce a $76 million fundraising haul in April

Former President Donald Trump is joined by top GOP officials, allies, and potential 2024 running mates, as he speaks at a Republican National Committee donor retreat, on May 4, 2024 in Palm Beach, Florida (2024 Donald Trump campaign )

@TeamTrump and the RNC outraised Biden by $25 MILLION in April!” the RNC touted in a social media post.

The fundraising totals are a switch from March, when Biden and the DNC brought in roughly $90 million compared to $65.6 million for Trump and the RNC.

Biden had regularly been outpacing Trump in monthly fundraising, but Trump’s April haul was boosted by a record-setting $50.5 million that the former president’s campaign raked in at a single event early in the month with top dollar GOP donors that was hosted at the Palm Beach, Florida home of billionaire investor John Paulson.

WARNING SIGNS FOR TRUMP AND BIDEN AS THEY CAREEN TOWARDS FIRST PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE

The Biden campaign, in their announcement, spotlighted that they have hauled in $473 million in the year since the president formally launched his re-election bid. 

They also showcased that they were sitting on a massive $192 million war chest as of the end of April.

They touted that Trump “trails badly in cash on hand” and that they have “the highest total of any Democratic candidate in history at this point in the cycle.”

Biden, Obama and Clinton.

Former Presidents Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, and President Joe Biden. (Getty Images)

The Biden campaign also spotlighted their small dollar donations, saying that “a majority of April’s raise came from grassroots donors, and one million more supporters were added to our email list in the month alone.”

They also took aim at Trump, arguing that his campaign “has focused nearly entirely on courting billionaire donors, maxing out early in the cycle instead of building a durable grassroots fundraising program.”

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

In their announcement earlier this month, Trump campaign senior advisers Chris LaCivita and Susie Wiles pointed to their grassroots fundraising prowess, saying that “with half of funds raised coming from small dollar donors, it is clear that our base is energized.”

And they pledged that “we are raising the resources necessary to deliver a victory in November.”

Trump and Biden

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon / Curtis Means/DailyMail.com via AP, Pool)

But the Biden campaign said that its fundraising advantage in recent months has allowed it to go up with major ad buys in the key states and to build formidable ground game teams in the battlegrounds.

Biden campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez said their fundraising “is giving us the resources necessary to invest in opening offices, hiring organizers and communicating across our battleground states in order to mobilize the coalition of voters who will decide this election.”

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



Source link

Bashing governor in publicly funded campaign ads is OK in Connecticut legislative races, court rules


Connecticut’s Supreme Court on Monday ruled that state elections officials violated the constitutional free speech rights of two Republicans running for the state legislature when it fined them thousands of dollars for criticizing the Democratic governor in ads paid for by their publicly funded campaigns in 2014.

In a 5-0 decision, the justices overturned the $5,000 civil fine against now-Sen. Rob Sampson and the $2,000 penalty against former Sen. Joe Markley imposed by the State Elections Enforcement Commission — a ruling their lawyer said could have influence in other states.

CONNECTICUT BECOMES ONE OF LAST STATES TO ALLOW IN-PERSON EARLY VOTING

The commission had determined that Sampson and Markley violated the rules of the state’s Citizens’ Election Program, which provides public funds to campaigns for statewide office and the legislature, when they sent out campaign materials touting how they would fight what they called the bad policies of then-Gov. Dannel Malloy.

Campaign-Ad-Fines-Connecticut

Joe Markley speaks after being nominated by the Republican Party as their chosen candidate for lieutenant governor at the State Republican Convention, May 12, 2018, in Mashantucket, Conn. Connecticut’s Supreme Court on Monday, May 20, 2024, ruled that state elections officials violated the constitutional free speech rights of two Republicans running for the state Legislature, including Markley, when it fined them thousands of dollars for criticizing the Democratic governor in ads paid for by their publicly funded campaigns in 2014.  (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

While the program bars a candidate from spending their public funds on the campaigns of others not in their race, the Supreme Court said the commission went too far when it interpreted the law to mean Sampson and Markley couldn’t criticize Malloy, who was running for reelection.

“None of the communications at issue in this appeal could reasonably be construed as anything more than a rhetorical device intended to communicate the merits of the plaintiffs’ candidacies as bulwarks against the policies endorsed by Governor Malloy and the Democratic Party,” Chief Justice Richard Robinson wrote in the opinion.

Robinson added the commission “imposed an unconstitutional condition in violation of the first amendment to the extent that it penalized the mention of Governor Malloy’s name in a manner that was not the functional equivalent of speech squarely directed at his reelection campaign.”

The ruling cited several decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court and other courts on what limits can be placed on free speech in publicly funded campaigns. Thirteen states provide some form of public funding to candidates for state offices, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Charles “Chip” Miller, a senior attorney at the Institute for Free Speech who represented to the two lawmakers, said the Connecticut case appears to be the first of its kind and could have ramifications in other states if they seek outside guidance on the issue.

“To the extent that you can tie someone to an opposing candidate, you know, I think is extremely relevant now,” he said.

“You can talk about somebody being a Trump supporter, or a Biden supporter, be it yourself or someone else. Someone can run and they could say, ‘Hey, I’m a Sanders Democrat,’ and that means something. Right?” he said, referring to U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont who caucuses with the Democrats.

Other states that provide public funding for state campaigns, such as Arizona and New York, limit use of the money to the candidate’s own campaign. New York has specific language that bans spending that money to support another candidate.

The commission was reviewing the decision and consulting with the Attorney General’s Office to determine what to do next, said Michael J. Brandi, executive director and general counsel at Connecticut’s Elections Enforcement Commission.

“As the court wrote, it’s an issue of first impression and a notoriously tricky application of the law,” he said in a statement. “Connecticut is in the vanguard of campaign finance reform, so that’s to be expected.”

The state attorney general’s office, which represented the commission in the case, said it was reviewing the court ruling before deciding its next steps.

Markley, of Southington, won reelection as a senator in 2014 and left the legislature in 2019 after losing his bid for lieutenant governor. He said the commission’s interpretation of the law was “ludicrous” and he had believed it would be overturned by the courts.

“I think that what they were trying to do here in Connecticut was sufficiently outrageous that I doubt that such actions have even been contemplated in other states, because who would push for bans on what I think is such reasonable political communication?” he said.

Sampson, from Wolcott, won reelection to the House in 2014 and won the Senate seat vacated by Markley four years later. He said he felt “vindicated” by the court’s unanimous decision and pleased that future candidates can now exercise their free speech rights.

“In our case, it should have been perfectly reasonable for me to inform my constituents — and voters — that I did not support the policies of the former governor,” Sampson said in a statement posted on social media.

During the 2014 campaign, Sampson and Markley sent out postcards and flyers touting their fiscally conservative positions and saying they were key players in the legislature in fighting what they called Malloy’s “reckless” tax and spending policies. That year, Markley received about $57,000 in public funds for his campaign and Sampson got about $28,000.

Sampson’s Democratic opponent that year, John Mazurek, filed a complaint with the commission over the two Republicans’ campaign materials and their references to Malloy.

In 2018, the commission found that Sampson and Markley had violated the public campaign funding law by attacking Malloy, saying they were essentially spending the public funds on another 2014 campaign — Republican Tom Foley’s challenge against Malloy, who won reelection and later did not seek another term in 2018.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Sampson and Markley appealed to Superior Court, which upheld the commission’s decision in 2022. Judge Joseph Shortall said that Sampson and Markley did not prove that their constitutional rights were violated by the commission, and that they had voluntarily agreed to accept public funding for their campaigns and the conditions that came along with the money.

They next appealed to the Supreme Court, which overturned the lower court on Monday.



Source link

Primary ballots give Montana voters a chance to re-think their local government structures


Montana primary ballots up for consideration this year will offer voters a unique opportunity to audit the structures and powers of their city and county governments.

This local government review appears as a “study commission question” toward the end of ballot forms. Most urban voters will see two entries — one for city and one for county governments.

JUSTICE KAGAN BLOCKS EFFORT TO STOP MONTANA FROM MAILING BALLOTS TO ALL VOTERS

Set forth in the Montana Constitution, this voter-initiated review is offered every 10 years in all 56 counties and 127 incorporated municipalities. Any jurisdiction where voters approve the review in the June 4 primary election will kick off a two-year process examining the ways that cities and counties define their governments.

Reviews focus on legislative powers, which are held by a city council, county board of commissioners or similar elected group. Also up for review are executive branch functions, which includes hiring staff and running daily operations of the city or county. Perhaps most importantly, reviews can shift the balance of power between the two branches.

Montana Fox News graphic

Montana primary ballots up for consideration this year will offer voters a unique opportunity to audit the structures and powers of their city and county governments. (Fox News)

“This is all an experiment,” said Dan Clark, director of the Local Government Center at Montana State University. “There’s no right or wrong. If this isn’t working as well as they’d like it to, what might work better? And let’s try it.”

A review can lead to small changes, like setting new terms for elected officials or designating ward-by-ward versus at-large representation. It can also restructure the top tier of the government operation, laid out in state statute as “forms.”

Variations of those forms include a commission-executive, in which a city council and mayor serve legislative and executive functions, respectively. An alternative is the commission-manager form, in which the elected legislative body appoints a city manager to handle executive functions. A charter form of government is also an option, giving governments more latitude to define the details and duties of the government and its staff.

There is also a town meeting form, which is only available to towns with less than 2,000 people. The residents of voting age make up the legislative branch, and a quorum is reached if 10 percent of that population attends a meeting. Clark said that Pinesdale, with fewer than 1,000 residents in the Bitterroot Valley, operates this way.

If voters approve a review for a particular government on June 4, a study commission will be elected this November to review potential changes to local governance and suggest solutions. Residents who are eligible to hold elected office in their jurisdiction can file to join the commission. After nearly two years of study, the commission suggests changes, and voters have the chance to accept or reject the commission’s proposals.

The process is funded by a property tax levy, usually collecting an amount in the low six figures. Local governments were required to approve a suggested funding level earlier this year. Any unused funds return to the government’s general fund.

Historically, Montana cities and counties going through change, such as population growth, are more likely to undergo a local government review as their needs evolve.

“Some communities will be content with their form of government. They haven’t experienced a lot of change,” Clark said. “Other communities might feel the need to make that change. There’s growth. They’re getting bigger, more complex, and maybe looking to different structures that might meet the challenges they might make into the future.”

One recent example came out of a review that Bozeman voters approved in 2004. After the two-year study, voters approved a city charter in 2006 that created the city charter, formalized neighborhood councils, and approved the direct election of the mayor. Another proposal that came out of this review, a suggestion to bring the number of City Commission members to seven, failed in a subsequent vote in 2010.

This year, Bozeman is the site of some organizing in support of a city government review. An effort by a group called Represent Bozeman has the support of former Mayor Carson Taylor, as well as current Deputy Mayor Joey Morrison. In a public forum earlier this week, Morrison told an audience that he supports a change in the pathway to the mayor’s office, according to the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. The current city charter has elected mayors to serve two years as deputy before taking over the mayoral position. Morrison is currently in his first year of that process after being elected in 2023.

Represent Bozeman is led by Bozeman Tenants United, which supported Morrison’s mayoral bid.

Organizer Emily LaShelle said the group supports a vote in favor of local government review with a few goals. The first is ward elections and representation for city commission members rather than at-large positions. She said the group hears from renters in northeast Bozeman who don’t feel seen by commissioners who often come from the more affluent neighborhoods.

“In a lot of ways, the reason the tenants union took this on is that so many of the working-class Bozemanites feel deeply unrepresented by the local government,” she said.

Represent Bozeman also supports full-time City Commission positions, which she said would support more working-class representation.

LaShelle said the group also wants to shift the power dynamics between elected officials and appointed city staff. This stems in part from the troubled exit of former City Manager Jeff Mihelich, who accepted severance earlier this year after a leaked video showed him making disparaging comments about commissioners and their work.

Bozeman’s city charter directs city staff to carry out much of the legislation that comes from the City Commission, which LaShelle said leaves too little room for elected officials to carry out their work and creates a barrier against public accountability.

“It makes it harder for regular people to make change,” she said. “There are so many incredible groups in Bozeman to make change. But the current system is outdated and makes it really hard for the people in Bozeman for real democracy to happen.”

A similar effort pushing for local government review is taking place in Billings. David Goodridge is a commercial Realtor and broker who said he learned about the mechanism after years of frustration about the pace of action at the Billings City Council.

Goodridge voted against the measure in 2014. Back then, he said, he looked at the prospect of an additional, yearslong government commission that cost six figures and didn’t like the idea. He says now that he voted against the very instrument that could bring the change he wanted to see at the council.

“My goal for the last eight months has been to try, from a grassroots position, to educate as many people as I can to not be afraid of this ballot item,” Goodridge said. “It’s a good thing.”

This time around, his effort is called “Get To Yes.” The basic idea is to bring awareness to this down-ballot item and advocate for a vote to get the process started.

Like LaShelle, Goodridge feels that Billings’ City Council has ceded too much power to appointed staff.

“The question I ask a lot of people in presentations is: who do you think is applying vision to the community? Elected leaders or the bureaucracy?” Goodridge said.

He also wants to see the mayor as a full-time position in Montana’s largest city and wants resources for council members to devote more time to their public roles.

“An elected person only has whatever time they have available to them to dive in and understand a complex zone change, a complex staffing issue, an infrastructure problem,” he said. “If all the time they have is just what they have in volunteer time, 10 to 20 hours isn’t going to cut it.”

Goodridge said he has received some monetary support from the Billings Association of Realtors and some in-kind donations for website development and marketing materials, though in total it amounts to less than $2,000. While he has a wish list for his preferred local government structure, his main goal is to secure voter approval for a review process on June 4.

Clark, with MSU’s Local Government Center, said that the intent of the process is not to be a referendum on the actions or policies of elected officials. It’s more about how the government operates regardless of who holds office or staff positions.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

In Billings, Goodridge said he has been waiting 10 years to get this chance to rally voters behind a review.

LaShelle hasn’t been waiting for another review since the 2004 study led to a brand new city charter. But she sees different needs for Bozeman 20 years later.

“It’s changed a lot since then,” she said. “And I think maybe the city charter worked for that Bozeman, but it’s certainly not working now. I don’t think we can wait another 10 years.”



Source link

‘Satanic minds’: NAACP leader who gave Biden award invited notorious antisemite to his church multiple times


FIRST ON FOX: The NAACP leader who introduced President Biden in Detroit on Sunday night was previously slammed by the Anti-Defamation League for inviting notorious antisemite Louis Farrakhan to speak at his church where the controversial minister lashed out at Jewish people and referred to them as “satanic.”

Rev. Wendell Anthony, President of the Detroit Branch of the NAACP, stood on stage with Biden in Detroit on Sunday night at the NAACP Detroit Branch’s 69th annual Fight for Freedom Fund Dinner, where the president gave a speech repeating his talking point about bringing people together and slammed former President Trump for being too divisive.

Anthony, who presented Biden with a lifetime achievement award on Sunday night, has a long history of associations with Farrakhan, who leads the Nation of Islam group, including being slammed by the Anti-Defamation League in 2013 for inviting the minister to speak at his church where he espoused antisemitic rhetoric.

Farrakhan spoke at Anthony’s Detroit-based church, Fellowship Chapel, at least three times in 2005, 2013, and 2015. The Michigan Chronicle reported in 1994 that Anthony was a guest speaker at the Nation of Islam’s 64th annual “Saviour’s Day.”

WHITE HOUSE VISITOR LOGS CONTRADICT BIDEN SPOKESMAN’S VOW TO BAN DC OFFICIAL WHO PRAISED NOTORIOUS ANTISEMITE

(Left to right): President Biden, Rev. Wendell Anthony, and Nation of Islam’s Louis Farrakhan   (Fox News )

“The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today expressed deep disappointment with the members of Detroit City Council and local clergy who met with and embraced the anti-Semitic and racist leader of the Nation of Islam, Louis Farrakhan, during his visit to the city last week,” the May 2013 press release stated. 

“During his visit to Detroit, Minister Farrakhan was invited by Rev. Wendell Anthony, President of the Detroit Branch of the NAACP, to address the Fellowship Chapel on May 17. His speech, which was attended by U.S. Rep. John Conyers and Detroit City Councilmember JoAnn Watson, among other prominent city leaders, invoked hateful anti-Semitic canards and open racism. Thus far, none of the leaders present for his remarks have publicly condemned Minister Farrakhan’s anti-Semitic rhetoric, and several have praised him.”

The ADL statement alleges that during the speech, Farrakhan “spewed hateful anti-Semitic invective, referring to ‘Satanic Jews’ and the ‘Synagogue of Satan’ supposedly controlling major institutions.”

“He expressed his love for President Barack Obama, but added that the president ‘surrounded himself with Satan…members of the Jewish community,’” the ADL said. 

LEFT-WING ACTIVIST WHO HIRED ONE OF FARRAKHAN’S ‘TOP SOLDIERS’ HAS VISITED BIDEN WHITE HOUSE 7 TIMES

Louis Farrakhan

WASHINGTON, DC – NOVEMBER 16:  Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan delivers a speech and talks about U.S. President Donald Trump, at the Watergate Hotel, on November 16, 2017 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Congressman John Conyers, Jr., a Democrat who passed away in 2019, ultimately apologized for attending Farrakhan’s speech saying that the minister made “unacceptable racist, anti-Semitic, and homophobic statements” which “I condemn in the strongest possible terms.”

Fox News Digital could not confirm what Rev. Anthony said in his introduction of Farrakhan when he spoke at his church, but a tweet from “Brother Abdul Qiyam Muhammad,” whose Linkedin says he is a “staff writer” for the Nation of Islam’s Final Call newspaper, said Rev. Anthony’s introduction was “phenomenal” and said he was on the “witness stand” for Farrakhan. 

Another disciple of Farrakhan tweeted out a quote attributed to Anthony from the 2013 appearance at Fellowship Chapel, saying, “Don’t get mad with Farrakhan for striking a match, get upset with yourself for not keeping the fire going.”

“The enemy that owns [reality TV] is the same people that own Hollywood, the same people that control your press, the same people that control your media, the same people who are the publishers, the same people who are the distributors, the same Synagogue of Satan, and they put you before the world in this disgraceful matter,” Farrakhan said in May 2013 at Fellowship Chapel, according to the ADL.

“What are you feeding filth to your people, you’re popular in filth, but they pay well. See, because you’re Satan’s man. He gives you money, that’s what you want. They print it all day long now next to the Holocaust place in Washington…These are not good people, these are Satanic minds,” he continued. “Whatever God says thou shalt not do, they make sure that they tell you it’s all right and then publicize it.”

BIDEN GIVES INTERVIEW TO RADIO SHOW THAT PROMOTED NOTORIOUS ANTISEMITE WHO COMPARED JEWS TO ‘TERMITES’

President Joe Biden touts the unity of NATO during a press conference in Spain.

President Joe Biden holds a press conference. (Fox News )

In addition to the visits to Anthony’s church, Farrakhan was also a guest speaker at a “Religious leaders’ breakfast” in 2004 for a “Freedom Weekend” hosted by Freedom Institute for Economic, Social Justice and People Empowerment, a think tank founded by Anthony. The think tank’s website lists Farrakhan along with other activists as “the best and brightest in their respective fields.”

In 1995, Anthony was quoted as praising Farrakhan as “the only man with the vision to envision” the Million Man March, saying, “He is the only leader speaking to the moral issues of decay in our community, and that’s why people are responding to his call.” 

Anthony wasn’t the only person with ties to Farrakhan at the dinner. A Facebook social media post shows that Troy Muhammad, who also goes by Troy X and is a “State Representative for Minister Louis Farrakhan and as Minister of Muhammad Mosque #1, was in attendance. The long Facebook post thanked Anthony and Kamilia Landrum, whose Facebook bio says she is the executive director of the NAACP’s Detroit branch, for “their efforts” in organizing the dinner. One of the pictures he included was a placard that said, “Michigan Representative of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan.”

Troy X also noted he walked out of the building when Biden was being introduced and said he was just attending to support the NAACP.

The White House has previously faced criticism for its ties to Farrakhan’s network including a left-wing activist who hired one of Farrakhan’s ‘top soldiers’ visiting the White House 7 times. 

Last fall, President Biden sat down for a radio interview with a show that has actively promoted Farrakhan’s teachings. 

(Left to right:) Lennox Yearwood, President Biden, and Nation of Islam’s Louis Farrakhan (Fox News)

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

The White House previously told Fox News Digital, “For decades, President Biden has unequivocally condemned Louis Farrakhan and the repugnant Antisemitic hate he represents.”

Andrew Bates, who was recently promoted to White House Senior Deputy Press Secretary and Deputy Assistant to the President, also told Fox News Digital previously that a Washington, D.C., official who repeatedly praised Farrakhan wouldn’t be invited back to the White House. That claim turned out to be false after visitor logs showed she visited the White House at least two more times.

 “In addition to asking them to pray like hell for me — (laughter) — I asked their advice on a bunch of things,” the White House transcript of a Biden campaign stop quotes Biden as saying about the reverends he has met with in Detroit. 

Fox News Digital reached out to the White House, NAACP, and Anthony’s Fellowship Chapel for a comment but did not immediately receive a response.  

Fox News’ Aubrie Spady contributed to this report.



Source link

Trump says Judge Merchan has way to gain back ‘respect’ despite presiding over ‘witch hunt’ trial


Join Fox News for access to this content

You have reached your maximum number of articles. Log in or create an account FREE of charge to continue reading.

Please enter a valid email address.

Former President Donald Trump said the judge presiding over the NY v. Trump trial, Juan Merchan, can earn back “respect” if he rules to dismiss the case. 

“This case should be dropped by the judge. I think the judge, if he did, that … could gain the respect back. The appellate court has to step in, something has to happen. Think of it, the Republican Party, one of the two great parties, nominates somebody to be their candidate. And that candidate now has been sitting here for almost five weeks in a freezing cold icebox listening to this stuff,” Trump said Monday following a whirlwind day in court. 

“I think the case is going very well. We’ve asked for termination of the case. This case should be terminated. This shouldn’t go anywhere. It should be terminated right now. And New York State has to build up its system again. New York State can’t let this happen. We can’t let this happen. There were no crimes. We did nothing wrong. And I want to get back to campaigning. I’m representing millions and millions, hundreds of millions of people,” Trump later added. 

Trump defense attorney Todd Blanche on Monday motioned for an order of dismissal, citing that there has been no evidence any of the business records or filings related to the case were false. The case itself focuses on 34 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree. DA Alvin Bragg’s office must prove to the jury that not only did Trump falsify the business records related to payments to Stormy Daniels, but that he did so in furtherance of another crime – conspiracy to promote or prevent election. 

COHEN’S BOMBSHELL ADMISSION COULD LEAD TO HUNG JURY, IF NOT ACQUITTAL: EXPERT

Merchan and Trump side-by-side

Former President Donald Trump attends the first day of his trial at Manhattan Criminal Court in New York City on April 15, 2024. Judge Juan Merchan poses for a picture in his chambers, Thursday, March 14, 2024, in New York.  (Angela Weiss/AFP via AP, POOL/AP)

The prosecution team argues that Trump falsified business records to conceal a $130,000 payment to former pornography star Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 election to quiet her claims of an affair with Trump. Trump has pleaded not guilty in the case and has repeatedly denied any affair with Daniels. 

NY V TRUMP: MICHAEL COHEN ADMITS TO STEALING TENS OF THOUSANDS FROM FORMER PRESIDENT’S BUSINESS

Blanche said there were “absolutely no false business filings” and no evidence of connection to Trump.

“How on earth is keeping a false story from voters criminal?” Blanche said.

Michael Cohen is asked about taking an oath as he is cross-examined by defense lawyer Todd Blanche during former U.S. President Donald Trump's criminal trial

Michael Cohen is asked about taking an oath as he is cross-examined by defense lawyer Todd Blanche during former U.S. President Donald Trump’s criminal trial on charges that he falsified business records to conceal money paid to silence porn star Stormy Daniels in 2016, in Manhattan state court in New York City, U.S. May 16, 2024 in this courtroom sketch. (REUTERS/Jane Rosenberg )

“There is no way the court should let this case go to the jury with Mr. Cohen’s testimony,” he added, referring to former Trump attorney Michael Cohen. 

Merchan told the court he would rule on the motion to dismiss at a later time. 

NY V. TRUMP: MICHAEL COHEN TESTIFIES HE’S CONSIDERING CONGRESSIONAL RUN

Monday was another action-packed day in court, including the prosecution team’s star witness, Cohen, admitting in testimony that he stole thousands of dollars from the Trump Organization. 

US-POLITICS-JUSTICE-COURT-TRUMP

Former Trump attorney, Michael Cohen, departs his home for Manhattan Criminal Court for the trial of former US President Donald Trump for allegedly covering up hush money payments linked to extramarital affairs in New York City, on May 14, 2024.  (TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images)

Cohen said that he stole $30,000 from the Trump Organization by overstating how much he paid a tech company that provided services for the company. Cohen said he told former Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg in 2017 that he had paid tech firm Red Finch $50,000 out of his own pocket, and that he still needed to be reimbursed for the payment. 

Weisselberg and Cohen in 2017 calculated a $420,000 repayment to Cohen for his $130,000 payment to Daniels, as well as the alleged $50,000 payment to Red Finch. 

Cohen said Monday before the court, however, that he only paid Red Finch $20,000 – meaning he pocketed $30,000 when he was reimbursed. 

TRUMP SLAMS NY COURT SYSTEM, BOASTS HE’S GOING ‘TO WIN’ EMPIRE STATE

“You stole from the Trump Org, right?” Trump attorney Todd Blanche asked Cohen Wednesday morning. 

“Yes, sir,” Cohen responded. 

Former President Donald Trump attends the first day of his trial at Manhattan Criminal Court in New York

Former President Donald Trump attends the first day of his trial at Manhattan Criminal Court in New York City on April 15, 2024.  (Angela Weiss/AFP via AP, POOL)

Cohen said taking the funds was “almost like self help,” claiming he took the funds because he was “angry” that his yearly bonus had been slashed. 

Legal experts sounded off that Cohen’s admission to stealing has further torpedoed his credibility. The comments Monday come after Cohen had already repeatedly been labeled a “grifter” and liar by legal experts. Cohen is a disbarred attorney who was sentenced to three years in prison in 2018 after he pleaded guilty to charges such as campaign finance fraud and lying to Congress.

NY V. TRUMP TO RESUME WITH CONTINUED CROSS-EXAMINATION OF MICHAEL COHEN AS TRIAL NEARS CONCLUSION

Amid his testimony Monday, Cohen also said he’s mulling a potential congressional run, citing he has the “best name recognition out there.”

Cohen was the prosecution team’s final witness, with the defense team now calling their witnesses in the case. The defense team first called Daniel Sitko, a paralegal in Blanche’s law firm, and then Robert Costello, a former legal representative of Cohen who testified before a grand jury last year that Cohen is a “serial liar.” 

Robert Costello / America Newsroom

Robert Costello / America Newsroom (Robert Costello / America Newsroom)

The courtroom became tense during Costello’s testimony, with Merchan ordering the media and jurors out of the room after Costello audibly and visibly disapproved of the judge’s rulings sustaining multiple objections from the prosecution team.

“I want to discuss proper decorum in my courtroom,” Merchan said after the jury left. “You don’t say strike it because I’m the only one who can strike it.” 

MICHAEL COHEN ONCE SWORE TRUMP WASN’T INVOLVED IN STORMY DANIELS PAYMENT, HIS EX-ATTORNEY TESTIFIES

Merchan reprimanded Costello to not roll his eyes or react to his rulings. Before the jury came back into the courtroom, Merchan asked Costello: “Are you staring me down?”

Costello will resume his cross-examination testimony Tuesday. Closing arguments in the case are anticipated to be held next Tuesday. 

FLASHBACK: TRUMP-MANHATTAN DA CASE: BOB COSTELLO TESTIFIES TO GRAND JURY, SAYS MICHAEL COHEN IS A ‘SERIAL LIAR’

Trump has consistently maintained his innocence in the case, calling it a “sham” and “witch hunt” promoted by the Biden administration and Department of Justice ahead of the 2024 election. 

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

“It’s an attack on [President Biden’s] political opponent. That’s all it is. All of the things you saw over the last four weeks, most of it should have never even been brought up. And then on top of that, there’s no crime. And we go on day after day. And I have to tell Iowa, ‘I’m sorry, I won’t be able to make it.’ I tell New Hampshire, ‘Sorry, I won’t be able to make it. I’m sitting in an ice box all day,'” Trump told the media earlier Monday before day 19 of the trial kicked off. 

Fox News Digital’s Brooke Singman and Brandon Gillespie contributed to this report. 



Source link

Republicans unite to block White House and Schumer backed ‘fake border bill’


Join Fox News for access to this content

You have reached your maximum number of articles. Log in or create an account FREE of charge to continue reading.

Please enter a valid email address.

Republicans in both chambers of Congress are preparing to band together to block any hope of a Democrat-backed border bill getting to the finish line. 

In a letter to senators dated Sunday evening, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., revealed his plan to bring an immigration bill to the floor once again after it was rejected primarily by Senate Republicans in February. 

“We are hopeful this bipartisan proposal will bring serious-minded Republicans back to the table to advance this bipartisan solution for our border,” he wrote. 

DUELING IVF BILLS TAKE CENTER STAGE AS PARTIES BUTT HEADS ON REPRODUCTIVE TECH REGULATION

Chuck Schumer

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer revealed his plan to bring back a Democrat-backed border bill, but Republicans are uniting to block the attempt. (Getty Images)

He noted that he doesn’t expect to get full support from either party, but described the border measure negotiated by Sens. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., Kyrsten Sinema, I-Ariz., and James Lankford, R-Okla., as “a tough, serious-minded, and – critically, bipartisan – proposal to secure our border.”

The White House promptly backed Schumer’s plan, with press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre calling on “every senator to put partisan politics aside and vote to secure the border.”

BALANCE OF POWER: VULNERABLE DEMS LOOK TO DIFFERENTIATE THEMSELVES FROM UNPOPULAR BIDEN

Senators James Lankford and Kyrsten SInema

Sens. Lankford and Sinema were designated negotiators for the border bill. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

Republicans were quick to push back on the majority leader’s characterization of the bill. “The fake border bill will fail, again, because it does nothing to seriously secure the border – just cement outrageous levels of illegal immigration,” wrote Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. 

“Ironically, some Democrats will vote against it, because even pretending to limit illegal immigration is a step too far for them,” he added. 

The bill failed a test vote in February, by a vote of 49-50, short of the 60 votes needed to proceed. 

Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., slammed Democrats reviving the bill as “political theatre.” 

“He thinks this vote will make you think Republicans are to blame for Biden’s border crisis,” he wrote on X. 

Sen. Eric Schmitt, R-Mo., similarly labeled Schumer’s plan as “kabuki theater.” 

Republicans were quick to reject the negotiated legislation after hearing some of the elements and seeing the bill text, which many described as weak and even counterproductive. 

SEN DURBIN DEMANDS JUSTICE ALITO RECUSE FROM TRUMP CASES AFTER FLYING UPSIDE-DOWN US FLAG

Migrants storm the gate at the border in El Paso

Immigration has become a top issue for voters going into the election. (James Breeden for New York Post/Mega)

Lankford, who notably helped craft the bill, denounced last week the then-speculation of Schumer bringing the measure back to the floor. “Listen, if we’re going to solve the border issues, it’s not going to by doing competing messaging bills. If we’re going to solve this, let’s sit down like adults and let’s figure out how we’re going to actually resolve this together,” he said in floor remarks.

Lankford was one of only four in his party to vote in favor of moving forward with the negotiated bill in February. It’s unclear if he would support it again. 

His fellow negotiator, Murphy, has led the charge to reconsider the bill. “Republicans don’t care about fixing the border,” he wrote Monday on X. “They want the border a mess because it helps them politically.”

It’s unlikely that the measure will be able to get 60 votes in order to move forward, spelling doom for the bill a second time. But if it were to get past the upper chamber, House Republican leadership made it clear it would be “dead on arrival” in its lower counterpart. 

AOC RIPS FETTERMAN FOR COMPARING HOUSE TO ‘JERRY SPRINGER’ SHOW: ‘I STAND UP TO BULLIES’

Mike Johnson

House leadership preemptively warned that the bill would be “dead on arrival.” (Getty Images)

In a statement, Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La., Majority Whip Tom Emmer, R-Minn., and Republican conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., said, “Leader Schumer is trying give his vulnerable members cover by bringing a vote on a bill which has already failed once in the Senate because it would actually codify many of the disastrous Biden open border policies that created this crisis in the first place.”

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

They further highlighted several tougher illegal immigration and border bills that have been passed by the Republican-majority House. “If Senate Democrats were actually serious about solving the problem and ending the border catastrophe, they would bring up H.R. 2 and pass it this week,” they said. 

H.R.2 includes nearly all Republican priorities and has been disregarded by Democratic leaders. Schumer previously remarked that the bill was full of “hard-right border policies” and said it would never be able to pass through Congress. 



Source link

MTG responds to House Dem planning to hawk merchandise using ‘bleach blonde’ insult used against her


Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene responded to Rep. Jasmine Crockett on Monday for seeking to profit off her dust-up with the Georgia Republican during a chaotic House hearing last week.

Crockett’s campaign filed a trademark application on Sunday for the phrase “bleach blonde bad built butch body,” to be used for hats, hoodies, socks, and t-shirts, among other things, according to a document viewed by Fox News Digital.

“I’m very happy with myself. I turn 50 on Monday, and I’m so excited that I’m still alive and healthy and have done so much in life. And I think no matter what shape, size or how we look, we need to be ourselves, not telling women the only way to be attractive or accepted is to have fake boobs, fake hair, fake lashes, and injected faces,” Greene told Fox News Digital. “I mean, we all wear makeup and do lashes and stuff sometimes, but it’s out of control. Women need a better message for women.”

Tensions ran high at last week’s late night House Oversight Committee meeting to advance a contempt of Congress resolution against Attorney General Merrick Garland.

DOJ WILL NOT TURN OVER BIDEN’S RECORDED INTERVIEW WITH SPECIAL COUNSEL HUR TO CONGRESS

Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Jasmine Crockett

Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Jasmine Crockett butted heads during a heated House Oversight Committee hearing last week. (Getty Images)

At one point, Crockett criticized Greene’s line of inquiry to fellow Democrats on the committee, to which Greene responded, “I think your fake eyelashes are messing up what you’re reading.”

It prompted a flurry of jeers from Crockett’s fellow Democrats, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., who forced the panel to vote on whether Greene could speak further. 

Just as Greene was recognized, Crockett asked Comer for clarification, “I’m just curious, just to better understand your ruling, if someone on this committee then starts talking about somebody’s bleach blonde bad built butch body, that would not be engaging in personalities, correct?”

A day later, Crockett announced “A Crockett Clapback Collection” that would “feature various swag that includes random things I’ve said.”

HOUSE GOP THREATENS TO HOLD AG GARLAND IN CONTEMPT OF CONGRESS OVER RECORDINGS OF BIDEN INTERVIEW IN HUR CASE

Rep. Jasmine Crockett, D-Texas

Crockett, seen with fellow committee Democratic Reps. Jamie Raskin and Robert Garcia, called Greene’s insult “racist.” (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

“The money will go to ensuring that we have a Democratic House!” she wrote X, formerly Twitter, accompanied by a photo of a male model wearing a black shirt emblazoned with her remarks about Greene.

Greene appeared to indirectly respond with a video of herself on the platform lifting weights, lauding herself as “built and strong.”

Crockett, meanwhile, accused Greene of racism during a recent CNN interview. She mentioned Greene’s comment about her eyelashes.

A spokesperson for Greene said, “The only person who has made this about color is Jasmine Crockett when she attacked MTG’s hair.”

The spokesperson also pointed out that Crockett’s new fundraising venture comes after multiple Democrats accused House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., of fundraising off of that hearing and other committee proceedings.

SEN DURBIN MULLS REVIVING TOOL THAT COULD STYMIE TRUMP NOMINEES IN ANOTHER TERM

Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md.

At one point in the hearing, Raskin warned Democrats not to be “linking specific actions that you’re taking on the Oversight Committee to campaign contributions or solicitations.” (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

At one point, Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., the top Democrat on the committee, said in the hearing, “There is an ethics principle that no solicitation of a campaign or political contribution may be linked to an action taken or to be taken by a member or employee in his or her official capacity. That’s just a reminder to my side. I hope that nobody is linking specific actions that you’re taking on the Oversight Committee to campaign contributions or solicitations.”

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP 

The Greene spokesman accused Democrats of “pure hypocrisy.”

But Crockett’s office responded to Fox News Digital, “The condemnation of Comer’s email was not merely because it referred the Committee, but rather because the content within it that clearly violates ethics rules.”

“In contrast, Rep. Crockett did not engage in an official act merely by saying these six words and one would be hard pressed to find how these six words could be found as one,” Crockett’s office added.

Fox News Digital reached out to Raskin’s office to ask whether his comments extended to Crockett as well. Fox News Digital also reached out to Crockett’s campaign for a response to Greene.



Source link

Newsom bashes Trump at Vatican climate summit: ‘Open corruption’


Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom of California took a moment in his keynote speech at the Vatican’s Climate Summit last week to jab Donald Trump, accusing the former president of cozying up with big oil companies in what he called “open corruption.”

“And with respect and, forgive me, if this comes off a little too harsh. It’s been said and I’ll repeat it: the polluted heart of the climate crisis are these fossil fuel companies that have been lying to us,” Newsom said in his 10-minute speech Thursday. “They’ve been deceiving us. They’ve known the science. They’ve denied the science. They’ve delayed advancement.”

“And in peril of further alienating some, I have to call this out as well. I don’t want to talk in the paradigm of a political conscience – I mentioned two Republicans, but let me mention one other,” Newsom continued. “Former President Donald Trump, who just last week, I never thought I’d see this. I’ve heard it, but I’ve never seen it. Donald Trump, just last week, had oil executives convening, talking about his election. And he openly asked them for $1 billion to roll back the environmental progress of the Biden administration, the environmental progress that we’ve made over the course of the last half century. Open corruption.”

NEWSOM IGNORING CALIFORNIA CRISES TO PROMOTE HIMSELF IN PRO-ABORTION CAMPAIGN, GOP LAWMAKERS SAY

Vatican in background, Gov. Newsom at right in photo illustration

Gov. Gavin Newsom was invited to the Vatican’s 2024 Climate Summit. (Getty)

Newsom’s reference was to a meeting the former president reportedly had at Mar-a-Lago with top oil excecutives, the New York Times reported earlier this month, citing two people who were present at the meeting. 

The Vatican summit, which was spearheaded by Pope Francis in 2022 after he deemed climate change an “ecological sin” caused by human negligence, is organized by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. According to the academy, so-called climate resilience “requires both cross-disciplinary partnerships among researchers, engineers, and entrepreneurs, as well as [transdisciplinary] partnerships between science and community leaders including faith leaders, NGOs, and the public.”

“Mayors and Governors form the core of such transdisciplinary partnerships,” it says on its website.

During Newsom’s speech, he also hailed California as a leading example in its progressive green energy policies, as the state is investing more than $48 billion in climate change initiatives alone, including $10 billion in zero-emission vehicles and chargers.

California has exceeded its nation-leading environmental goals,” Newsom said. “We’re in the ‘how’ business, and it’s about the power of emulation, proving that we can run the fifth-largest economy, its economic engine, as we change the way we produce and consume energy.”

However, the Golden State will fail to meet its climate change mandates unless it nearly triples its rate of reduction of greenhouse gases through 2030, an analysis in March by Beacon Economics, an L.A.-based economic research firm, reported. Newsom’s office dismissed the report at the time to Fox News Digital and said “we’ll continue proving everybody wrong.”

OUTSPOKEN PRO-ABORTION GOVERNOR GETS SPEAKING SLOT AT VATICAN SUMMIT

Gov. Gavin Newsom, D-California

Gov. Gavin Newsom recently signed a law regulating additives used in popular foods in California. (MediaNews Group/East Bay Times via Getty Images)

Nonetheless, Newsom’s invitation to speak at a prominent Vatican event came as a surprise to many. Newsom, who is Catholic, has touted social progressive policies – often at odds with the Catholic Church’s dogma – in his state since he assumed office in 2019. 

One of those policies was when the blue-state leader made California the first “sanctuary state” in 2022 for transgender children from more restrictive states seeking sex-change surgeries. Meanwhile, the Vatican also formally reaffirmed and expanded on the Catholic Church’s teaching regarding gender theory – which it holds as an inadmissible ideology – asserting that attempts to alter an individual’s immutable gender are ultimately misguided attempts to play God.

But in an interview that aired Sunday, Pope Francis took aim at conservatives opposed to the evolutionary doctrines of the Catholic Church, saying they held a “suicidal attitude” toward it. 

VATICAN PREPARING DOCUMENT ON ‘IMMORAL TENDENCIES’: GENDER THEORY, SURROGACY, AND MORE

Pope Francis seen from behind addressing a general audience

Pope Francis told an interviewer recently that conservative critics have a “suicidal attitude” with their resistance to change within the Catholic Church. (Vatican Media via Vatican Pool/Getty Images)

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Francis was asked about his controversial comments about LGBTQ individuals and the Vatican’s endorsement of blessings for individuals in same-sex relationships during the “60 Minutes” interview that aired on Sunday. Host Norah O’Donnell asked him if he had a message for conservative bishops in the U.S. who’ve criticized his “efforts to revisit teachings and traditions” in the church.

“You used an adjective, ‘conservative.’ That is, conservative is one who clings to something and does not want to see beyond that,” Francis said. “It is a suicidal attitude. Because one thing is to take tradition into account, to consider situations from the past, but quite another is to be closed up inside a dogmatic box.”

Fox News Digital’s Kristine Parks contributed to this report. 



Source link

GOP Senate candidate in crucial state rips Schumer’s immigration push after border trip: ‘Height of cynicism’


Pennsylvania may be 1,600 miles from the U.S.-Mexico border, but the GOP candidate aiming to flip the crucial Northeast battleground state’s Democratic-held Senate seat from blue to red this fall is spotlighting the combustible issues of border security and immigration.

Republican Dave McCormick claims that a new move by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, the top Democrat in the chamber, to vote this week on a standalone border policy bill is “the height of cynicism.”

McCormick is challenging longtime Democratic Sen. Bob Casey Jr. in a high-profile and expensive Senate showdown that is one of a handful across the country that will likely decide whether the GOP wins back the Senate majority.

The GOP Senate nominee, a West Point graduate, Gulf War combat veteran, and former hedge fund executive and Treasury Department official in George W. Bush’s administration, spent the weekend touring the U.S.-Mexico border in Arizona.

IT’S GAME ON IN THIS BATTLEGROUND STATE’S CRUCIAL SENATE RACE 

Dave McCormick takes aim at President Biden, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, and Democratic Sen. Bob Casey Jr. of Pennsylvania, over the border crisis

Dave McCormick, the Republican Senate nominee in Pennsylvania, records a video along the U.S.-Mexico border after receiving a briefing from officials, in Yuma, Arizona, on May 18, 2024. (Dave McCormick Senate campaign )

McCormick, in an interview Monday morning on Fox News’ “Fox and Friends,” took aim at President Biden, charging that the situation at the southern border is “a leadership failure that you just can’t believe.”

“I’m on the border at 2 a.m. and about 50 illegal migrants walk across the border. In that group that I saw there’s five or six military-aged men from Syria and there’s a handful of Chinese nationals, just when I was there at 2 in the morning,” McCormick recollected. 

McCormick argued that it’s “a killer on two levels… the cartels are not just in the drug business, they’re in the human trafficking business.”

REPUBLICANS CLAIM CASEY’S SHIFTED HIS STANCE ON BORDER CRISIS

Illegal immigration and border security have long been top of mind for Republican voters, and GOP leaders for over three years have heavily criticized Biden and his administration over the surge in migrant crossings, as well as the smuggling of deadly fentanyl, across the border. The president’s approval rating on handling the border and immigration remains deeply underwater. 

The issue is front and center not only in the rematch between Biden and former President Trump, but it’s also in the spotlight in this year’s battle for the Senate majority.

McCormick returned to Pennsylvania from his trip to the border on Sunday, as Schumer in a letter to fellow senators wrote, “We are hopeful this bipartisan proposal will bring serious-minded Republicans back to the table to advance this bipartisan solution for our border.”

Sen. Chuck Schumer

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer speaks to reporters at the Capitol, March 6, 2024. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The bipartisan border security bill was negotiated by Sens. James Lankford, R-Okla., Chris Murphy, D-Conn., and Kyrsten Sinema, I-Ariz. The measure went down to defeat earlier this year when most Republicans withdrew their support at the urging of Trump, in an apparent move to prevent Biden from securing a victory on the key campaign issue.

The bill is not expected to pass this time around, with most Republicans, including Lankford, still opposed, as well as a handful of far-left Democrats. The vote appears to be an election-year move by Schumer to paint Republicans as putting campaign politics over policy and unwilling to solve the border crisis.

And House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., said if the bill reaches his chamber, it would once again be “dead on arrival.”

SCHUMER SAYS SENATE TO VOTE ON BORDER SECURITY BILL THIS WEEK

McCormick argued that the move by Schumer is “the height of cynicism.”

And he claimed that “the bipartisan legislation that was put forward is in fact essentially giving resources to accelerate the processing of the asylum cases, not to secure the border. And so that’s why I oppose it.”

“Right now, Chuck Schumer and Bob Casey are working to accelerate the resettling of illegal immigrants into our communities, not to secure the border,” McCormick charged.

But Democrats counter that the Border Act would not only reform U.S. asylum laws – by making modifications to parole and asylum provisions – but also lead to the hiring of thousands of border agents.

McCormick, who has repeatedly highlighted border security and immigration as he runs a second straight time for the Senate, claimed, “If Joe Biden and Bob Casey really wanted to do something about the border, they would have done something years ago…. Democrats don’t want to deal with it until it becomes a political challenge, which is where we are now.”

Sen. Bob Casey

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

Casey has been a leading voice among Senate Democrats in recent months in urging more action from the White House to deal with the immigration and fentanyl crisis at the southern border.

“In order to meaningfully address the fentanyl crisis, law enforcement officers at our Nation’s borders must be equipped to combat the flow of fentanyl and other illicit drugs,” Casey and 16 of his Senate colleagues wrote earlier this year in a letter to Biden. “We must also support the law enforcement agencies that are investigating these smuggling and trafficking crimes and working to disrupt the transnational criminal networks that threaten our country and our communities.”

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

McCormick campaigns in Pittsburgh

Dave McCormick greets supporters at the Indigo Hotel during a primary election night event on May 17, 2022, in Pittsburgh. (Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)

But the Senate GOP’s campaign arm, pointing to Casey’s voting record in the Senate, has argued that he pushed certain immigration fixes during election years and voted against them in off years – a characterization Casey’s office disputes. 

In a statement earlier this year to Fox News Digital, Maddy McDaniel, communications director for Bob Casey for Senate, said, “Casey has a long record of working to strengthen border security and passing bipartisan legislation to combat fentanyl smuggling across the border.”

McDaniel also charged that “McCormick refused to support a bipartisan bill that was called the ‘toughest border and immigration law in modern history,’ was supported by border patrol and would have cracked down on fentanyl trafficking – that’s why Pennsylvanians know McCormick can’t be trusted.”

Fox News’ Andrew Mark Miller contributed to this report

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



Source link

NY v. Trump: Michael Cohen testifies he’s considering congressional run


Former Trump attorney Michael Cohen is mulling a run for Congress. 

The admission came on the witness stand Monday on what is his fourth day of testimony in the NY v. Trump case.

Cohen told the court that he would pursue congressional office because he has the “best name recognition out there.” He did not elaborate if he would run in New York, or if he would run as a Republican or Democrat. 

Trump attorney Todd Blanche pressed Cohen if his name recognition is due to Trump, sparking Cohen to explain that his well-known name is partly due to his work for Trump, but is not because of Trump. 

NY V TRUMP: MICHAEL COHEN ADMITS TO STEALING TENS OF THOUSANDS FROM FORMER PRESIDENT’S BUSINESS

Michael Cohen in 2018 file photo

Michael Cohen, President Donald Trumps former personal attorney and fixer, arrives at federal court for his sentencing hearing, December 12, 2018.  (Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images)

“My name recognition is because of the journey I have been on,” Cohen said. 

His testimony in Manhattan court came amid him also saying that he worked on pitching a TV show about himself, called “The Fixer,” but that it has not yet been picked up by a network. 

Cohen has previously floated a potential congressional run, including earlier this month on his TikTok account when he said he would run as a Democrat, the Washington Post reported.  

TRUMP SLAMS NY COURT SYSTEM, BOASTS HE’S GOING ‘TO WIN’ EMPIRE STATE

“I am interested and there’s a multitude of folks encouraging me to run,” Cohen said of a potential congressional run last year in comments to Semafor. 

He also previously ran as a Republican for New York City Council in the early 2000s, Spectrum News previously reported. A Democrat defeated Cohen in his quest for the seat. 

Michael Cohen on witness stand in courtroom sketch

Michael Cohen is asked about taking an oath as he is cross-examined by defense lawyer Todd Blanche during former U.S. President Donald Trump’s criminal trial on charges that he falsified business records to conceal money paid to silence porn star Stormy Daniels in 2016, in Manhattan state court in New York City, U.S. May 16, 2024 in this courtroom sketch. (REUTERS/Jane Rosenberg )

Cohen is a disbarred attorney who was sentenced to three years in prison in 2018 after he pleaded guilty to charges including campaign finance fraud and lying to Congress. Cohen’s testimony in the NY v. Trump case included him detailing last week that he also lied under oath to Judge William H. Pauley, who sentenced him to three years in prison. 

NY V. TRUMP TO RESUME WITH CONTINUED CROSS-EXAMINATION OF MICHAEL COHEN AS TRIAL NEARS CONCLUSION

Donald Trump at defense table in courtroom

Former president Donald Trump awaits the start of proceedings at Manhattan criminal court, Monday, April 22, 2024, in New York.  (AP Photo/Yuki Iwamura, Pool)

Cohen has been slammed as a “grifter” by some critics and legal experts. Last week, ​​a lawyer who formerly advised Cohen, Robert Costello, testified before Congress that Cohen is a serial liar.

NY V TRUMP: AS ‘STAR WITNESS’ MICHAEL COHEN TESTIFIES, TRUMP ALLIES FLOCK TO COURT TO ‘SUPPORT THEIR FRIEND’

NY v. Trump focuses on the prosecution team trying to prove Trump falsified business records 34 times to conceal a $130,000 payment to former pornography star Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 election to quiet her claims of an affair with Trump. Trump has pleaded not guilty in the case and has repeatedly denied any affair with Daniels. 

Stormy Daniels on witness stand at Trump trial in courtroom sketch

Stormy Daniels is questioned by defense attorney Susan Necheles during former U.S. President Donald Trump’s criminal trial on charges that he falsified business records to conceal money paid to silence porn star Stormy Daniels in 2016, in Manhattan state court in New York City, U.S., May 9, 2024 in this courtroom sketch. (REUTERS/Jane Rosenberg)

BIDEN MOCKED FOR APPARENT SMALL SHOWING OF SUPPORTERS IN DEM CITY: ‘NOBODY CARED’

Trump briefly addressed the media on Monday morning – when court started nearly an hour earlier than it’s typical 9:30 a.m. start time – where he slammed the case as one promoted by the Biden administration and Department of Justice ahead of the 2024 election, and lamented that the trial has kept him from the campaign trail. 

Donald Trump in yellow tie at trial

A CNN panel recently agreed that the gag order placed on former President Trump during his trial in New York should apply to the other trial witnesses. (Win McNamee/Pool via REUTERS)

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

“It’s an attack on [President Biden’s] political opponent. That’s all it is. All of the things you saw over the last four weeks, most of it should have never even been brought up. And then on top of that, there’s no crime. And we go on day after day. And I have to tell Iowa, ‘I’m sorry, I won’t be able to make it.’ I tell New Hampshire, ‘Sorry, I won’t be able to make it. I’m sitting in an ice box all day,'” he said. 



Source link

NY v Trump: Michael Cohen admits to stealing tens of thousands from former president’s business


Former Trump attorney Michael Cohen admitted in testimony Monday that he stole thousands of dollars from the Trump Organization by overstating how much he paid a tech company that provided services for the Trump Organization. 

“You stole from the Trump Org, right?” Trump attorney Todd Blanche asked Cohen Wednesday morning. 

“Yes, sir,” Cohen responded. 

The testimony stems from his comments last week, when he detailed to the court that he and former Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg calculated a $420,000 repayment to Cohen for his $130,000 payment to former pornography star Stormy Daniels. Cohen’s payment to Daniels came ahead of the 2016 election to quiet her claims of an alleged affair with Trump in 2006. 

TRUMP SLAMS NY COURT SYSTEM, BOASTS HE’S GOING ‘TO WIN’ EMPIRE STATE

left-right split of Michael Cohen and Donald Trump respectively

Donald Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, returned to the witness stand in the NY v. Trump trial. (Getty Images)

Cohen previously testified that the repayment was “grossed up” to prevent him from taking a tax hit, and also included reimbursement for paying tech company Red Finch an alleged $50,000. 

NY V. TRUMP TO RESUME WITH CONTINUED CROSS-EXAMINATION OF MICHAEL COHEN AS TRIAL NEARS CONCLUSION

Cohen testified Monday that he went to TD Bank and withdrew cash over a couple of days to pay Red Finch for its services, which he stored in a brown paper bag. The cash ultimately totaled about $20,000, which he gave to Red Finch’s CEO, according to Cohen, but he said he never gave the company the total $50,000. 

Michael Cohen is asked about taking an oath as he is cross-examined by defense lawyer Todd Blanche during former U.S. President Donald Trump's criminal trial

Michael Cohen is questioned by defense lawyer Todd Blanche during former President Trump’s criminal trial in Manhattan state court in New York City, May 16, 2024, in this courtroom sketch. (Reuters/Jane Rosenberg )

During a 2017 meeting on the repayment plan, Cohen said he told Weisselberg he paid Red Finch $50,000 – meaning he pocketed a $30,000 difference. 

NY V TRUMP: AS ‘STAR WITNESS’ MICHAEL COHEN TESTIFIES, TRUMP ALLIES FLOCK TO COURT TO ‘SUPPORT THEIR FRIEND’

“You lied to Weisselberg about how much you needed for Red Finch?” Blanche asked Cohen, and Cohen confirmed he had. 

He testified that the Trump Organization thought he paid the full amount, for which he was still reimbursed despite not having actually paid it.

Donald Trump speaks to media

Trump speaks to the media on May 13. (Seth Wenig/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

“Have you paid back the Trump Organization for the money you stole from them?” Blanche also asked Monday.

“No, sir,” Cohen responded.

BIDEN MOCKED FOR APPARENT SMALL SHOWING OF SUPPORTERS IN DEM CITY: ‘NOBODY CARED’

Cohen’s testimony marks the fourth day he has taken the stand. Trump’s legal team last week said they anticipated wrapping up cross-examination with Cohen on Monday. Closing arguments for the case are anticipated next Tuesday, following the Memorial Day holiday. 

Michael Cohen in courtroom sketch

Michael Cohen on the stand during former President Trump’s criminal trial  in Manhattan state court, May 14, 2024, in this courtroom sketch. (Reuters/Jane Rosenberg )

Cohen’s testimony last week included him describing that he used his personal funds to pay Daniels in 2016 through a home equity line of credit. Cohen testified he did this because Trump told him to “handle it” because the story could be damaging to the campaign. 

Trump has pleaded not guilty in the case, and has also repeatedly denied ever having an affair with Stormy Daniels. 

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Last week, ​​a lawyer who formerly advised Cohen, Robert Costello, testified before Congress that Cohen is a serial liar. Costello testified before Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s grand jury in March, before Trump was indicted, and recalled interactions with Cohen. 

Fox News Digital’s Brandon Gillespie contributed to this report. 



Source link