1/7/2024

2024 ELECTION/ILLINOIS/JANUARY 6/JOE BIDEN: “Joe Biden’s 2024 election campaign has lambasted former president and most likely Republican opponent Donald Trump for failing to sign a loyalty oath in the state of Illinois, in which candidates pledge against advocating an overthrow of the government.

The Biden campaign was responding to an investigation by the Illinois news outlets WBEZ and the Chicago Sun-Times, which reported that Trump sidestepped signing the McCarthy-era voluntary pledge that is part of the midwestern state’s package of ballot-access paperwork submitted by 2024 electoral candidates last week.

That omission came days before the third anniversary of the January 6 insurrection, for which Trump has been indicted for his alleged role in efforts to overturn Biden’s 2020 election victory. It is a departure from 2016 and 2020, when Trump signed the voluntary oath.”

-Betsy Reed, “Donald Trump did not sign Illinois pledge not to overthrow government,” theguardian.com, January 7, 2024

1/8/2024

2024 ELECTION/JOE BIDEN: “Former President Donald Trump on Monday suggested that if he is re-elected he would have President Joe Biden indicted, a day before an appeals court hears arguments on his claim that presidential immunity protects him from prosecution for his role in the Jan. 6 attack.

In a post to his Truth Social platform early Monday, Trump said he plans to attend oral arguments on his presidential immunity claim before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Tuesday, and claimed that it was his obligation as president to find voter fraud.

‘Of course I was entitled, as President of the United States and Commander in Chief, to Immunity. I wasn’t campaigning, the Election was long over,’ he wrote. ‘I was looking for voter fraud, and finding it, which is my obligation to do, and otherwise running running our Country.'”

-Summer Concepcion, “Trump suggests that, if re-elected, he would have Biden indicted,” nbcnews.com, January 8, 2024

1/9/2024

LEGAL: “A federal appeals court panel strongly suggested Tuesday that it would reject Donald Trump’s claims of immunity from criminal charges related to his effort to subvert the 2020 election.

With Trump looking on, the three judges expressed deep skepticism of his contention that a president could not be prosecuted — even for assassinating a rival or selling military secrets — if he were not first impeached and convicted by Congress.

‘I think it’s paradoxical to say that his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed allows him to violate criminal law,’ said Judge Karen Henderson, a George H.W. Bush appointee.”
-Kyle Cheney and Josh Gerstein, “Trump’s immunity claim gets frosty reception at appeals court,” politico.com, January 9, 2024

1/9/2024

2024 ELECTION/JOE BIDEN: “President Biden’s reelection campaign bashed former President Trump on Tuesday after he said he hoped the U.S. economy would crash in the next 12 months, arguing he doesn’t care about people.

‘Donald Trump should just say he doesn’t give a damn about people, because that’s exactly what he’s telling the American people when he says he hopes the economy crashes. In his relentless pursuit of power and retribution, Donald Trump is rooting for a reality where millions of Americans lose their jobs and live with the crushing anxiety of figuring out how to afford basic needs,’ campaign manager Julie Chávez Rodríguez said.”

-Alex Gangitano, “‘He doesn’t give a damn about people:’ Biden campaign hits Trump comments on economy crashing,” thehill.com, January 9, 2024

1/10/2024

LEGAL: “The judge overseeing Donald Trump’s civil fraud case will not allow the former president to speak during closing arguments in the trial on Thursday after Trump refused to say that he’d stick to the facts of the case and not engage in any attacks.

Trump had requested to deliver part of the arguments himself, according to a source with direct knowledge of the situation. But Judge Arthur Engoron denied the request Wednesday after a contentious back and forth with Trump’s lawyers about certain preconditions the judge wanted him to meet.”
-Adam Reiss and Dareh Gregorian, “Judge in New York fraud trial will not allow Trump to deliver part of closing arguments himself,” nbcnews.com, January 10, 2024

1/11/2024

LEGAL: “Barred from giving a formal closing argument, Donald Trump wrested an opportunity to speak in court at the conclusion of his New York civil fraud trial Thursday, unleashing a barrage of attacks in a six-minute diatribe before being cut off by the judge.

In an extraordinary move for any defendant, Trump not only sought to make his own summation but then brushed past a question from the judge about whether he would follow rules requiring him to keep his remarks focused on matters related to the trial.

‘I am an innocent man,’ Trump protested. ‘I’m being persecuted by someone running for office, and I think you have to go outside the bounds.'”

-Michael R. Sisak and Jennifer Peltz, “Donald Trump defies judge, gives courtroom speech on tense final day of New York civil fraud trial,” apnews.com, January 11, 2024

1/11/2024

LEGAL: “Donald Trump returned to Manhattan Supreme Court on Thursday for the last day of his fraud trial, lashing out at the judge and the attorney general who brought the case.

A judge has already determined that Trump family members and executives fraudulently inflated assets to secure favourable loans.

But the trial will determine damages.

New York Judge Arthur Engoron has said he will issue a final written ruling in the case by the end of the month.

The outcome could be stiff penalties that may challenge the famous family’s legacy after it built its fortune in New York real estate.”

-Madaline Halpert, “Donald Trump’s New York fraud trial wraps up, with millions of dollars on the line,” bbc.com, January 11, 2024

1/12/2024

2024 ELECTION/CAMPAIGN: “Weather continues to impact the schedule of presidential candidates heading into the Iowa caucuses as former President Donald Trump has now canceled three out of his four in-person commit to caucus rallies.

Instead, Trump will hold a series of telerallies and is still expected to go forward with his in-person appearance at his commit to caucus rally in Indianola, Iowa.

‘I’ll get there sometime around Saturday night or something, one way or the other I’m getting there. You have the worst weather I guess in recorded history, but maybe that’s good because our people are more committed than anyone else,’ Trump said in a video message posted on X shortly after his campaign announced the schedule adjustments.”

-Lalee Ibssa and Soo Rin Kim, “Former President Donald Trump cancels 3 of his 4 weekend campaign events,” abcnews.com, January 12, 2024

1/14/2024

2024 ELECTION/IOWA: “Former President Donald Trump made a final plea for supporters Sunday afternoon to show up in the frigid cold to caucus for him, revisiting familiar lines of attack against his political opponents while tempering expectations of his predicted margin of victory.

‘You can’t sit home,’ Trump said. ‘If you’re sick as a dog … even if you vote and then pass away, it’s worth it.'”

-Galen Bacharier and Anthony Robledo, “‘It’s worth it’: Donald Trump urges voters to caucus for him amid punishing cold,” usatoday.com, January 14, 2024

1/15/2024

2024 ELECTION/IOWA: “In some ways, Iowa’s Republican caucuses were practically over before they began, with Donald Trump cultivating a deep network of support over three presidential runs. 

About 7 in 10 Iowans who caucused for Trump on Monday night said they have known all along that they would support a man who has remade the Republican Party through his ‘Make America Great Again’ political movement. Trump was carried to victory by the majority of caucusgoers who say they back it, a sign of his growing influence in a state that denied him a victory eight years ago.”
-Josh Boak, “Most Trump supporters in Iowa caucuses say they knew they’d support him all along, AP VoteCast shows,” pbs.org, January 15, 2024

1/16/2024

LEGAL: “Donald Trump shook his head in disgust Tuesday as the judge in his New York defamation trial told would-be jurors that an earlier jury had already decided the former president sexually abused columnist E. Jean Carroll in the 1990s.

Trump left court before opening statements, jetting to a New Hampshire political rally as Carroll’s lawyer accused the Republican presidential front-runner of using ‘the world’s biggest microphone’ to destroy her reputation and turn his supporters against her. Trump’s lawyer contended that Carroll has never been more famous and that she is blaming him for ‘a few mean tweets from Twitter trolls.'”

– Larry Neumiester, Michael R. Sisak and Jake Offenhartz, “Trump glowers and gestures in court, then leaves to campaign as sex abuse defamation trial opens,” apnews.com, January 16, 2024

1/16/2024

2024 ELECTION/IOWA: “Former President Donald Trump scored a record-setting win in the Iowa caucuses on Monday with his rivals languishing far behind, a victory that affirmed his grip on the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.

In what was the lowest-turnout caucus in a quarter-century, participants endured life-threatening cold and dangerous driving conditions to meet in hundreds of schools, churches and community centers across the state. But those who ventured out delivered a roughly 30-point win for Trump that smashed the record for a contested Iowa Republican caucus with a margin of victory exceeding Bob Dole’s nearly 13-percentage-point victory in 1988.”
-Steve Peoples, Thomas Beaumont and Hannah Fingerhut, “Trump notches a commanding win in the Iowa caucuses as DeSantis edges Haley for second place,” apnews.com, January 16, 2024

1/16/2024

2024 ELECTION: “Biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy suspended his bid for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination on Monday and endorsed former President Donald Trump after finishing a distant fourth in Iowa’s leadoff caucuses.

Ramaswamy said he made the decision after determining there was no path forward for him in the race, ‘absent things that we don’t want to see happen in this country.’…

Ramaswamy told supporters gathered at a Des Moines hotel that Trump ‘will have my full endorsement for the presidency.'”

-Bill Barrow, “Vivek Ramaswamy suspends his 2024 Republican presidential bid and endorses rival Donald Trump,” apnews.com, January 16, 2024

1/18/2024

2024 ELECTION/COLORADO: “Former President Donald Trump on Thursday urged the Supreme Court to reverse a decision from Colorado’s top court that found he is disqualified from holding the presidency under a Civil War-era provision of the Constitution, calling on the justices to ‘put a swift and decisive end’ to efforts to keep him off the ballot.”

-Melissa Quinn, “Trump urges Supreme Court to reject efforts to keep him off ballot, warning of ‘chaos’ in new filing,” cbsnews.com, January 18, 2024

1/19/2024

2024 ELECTION/NIKKI HALEY: “Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina endorsed Donald Trump Friday ahead of next week’s New Hampshire primary, the latest sign the Republican party is rallying around the former president’s candidacy after his historic Iowa win.

The decision marks a major blow to Scott’s fellow South Carolinian Nikki Haley, the former U.N. ambassador who is banking on a strong showing in New Hampshire to keep her presidential hopes alive…

‘We need a president who sees Americans as one American family, and that’s why I came to the very warm state of New Hampshire to endorse the next president of the United States, President Donald Trump,’ Scott said.”

-Meg Kinnard, Jill Colvin, and Jonathan J. Cooper, “Tim Scott endorses Donald Trump ahead of New Hampshire Republican primary,” apnews.com, January 19, 2024

1/19/2024

2024 ELECTION/NEW HAMPSHIRE/NIKKI HALEY: “A few days away from next week’s critical New Hampshire primary, Nikki Haley is intensifying her criticism of former President Donald Trump and drawing a contrast between their approaches to governing. 

The former ambassador to the United Nations is characterizing the nomination contest as a two-person race, and she and her campaign are focused on targeting Trump. 

‘Trump says things. Americans aren’t stupid to just believe what he says,’ Haley told reporters Thursday during a campaign stop in Hollis, New Hampshire. ‘The reality is — who lost the House for us? Who lost the Senate? Who lost The White House? Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Donald Trump.'” 

-Nidia Cavazos, “Nikki Haley goes on offense against Trump days before New Hampshire primary,” January 19, 2024

1/22/2024

2024 ELECTION/NIKKI HALEY: “As the last major challenger in Donald Trump‘s way to the Republican nomination, Nikki Haley is hoping New Hampshire voters feel so strongly about keeping the former president away from the White House that they turn out to support her in large numbers.

‘America does not do coronations,’ Haley said at a VFW hall in Franklin, joined by her daughter and son-in-law. ‘Let’s show all of the media class and the political class that we’ve got a different plan in mind, and let’s show the country what we can do.'”

-Steve Peoples, Holly Ramer, Mitchell L. Price, and Jill Colvin, “Haley hopes to stop Trump’s march to nomination in New Hampshire: ‘America does not do coronations’,” apnews.com, January 22, 2024

1/23/2024

2024 ELECTION/NEW HAMPSHIRE: “Donald Trump has won the New Hampshire primary, likely cementing his place as the Republican presidential nominee.

The win over Nikki Haley, who had briefly threatened to rein in the former president, suggests there will be a smooth path to the GOP nomination for Trump, who also won easily in the Iowa caucuses last week.”

Adam Gabbatt and Joan E Grevein, “Donald Trump wins Republican primary in New Hampshire,” theguardian.com, January 23, 2024

1/23/2024

2024 ELECTION/NEW HAMPSHIRE/NIKKI HALEY: “Donald Trump extended his commanding lead in the race for the Republican presidential nomination by winning the New Hampshire primary, but failed to knock rival Nikki Haley out of the White House contest. 

Trump had just over 53 per cent of the votes counted at 9:30pm Eastern Standard Time, while Haley held just under 46 per cent. With votes still to be counted the exact margin of his victory will only be known later in the evening…

Despite Trump’s back-to-back victories, Haley was defiant on Tuesday night, insisting the race was ‘not over’ and touting the next contest in South Carolina, where she served two terms as governor — though she still trails the former president by double digits in recent polls. “

-Lauren Fedor and James Politi, “Donald Trump wins New Hampshire primary but Nikki Haley vows to fight on,” ft.com, January 23, 2024

1/23/2024

2024 ELECTION/NATIONAL SECURITY: “After breezing through his usual lines about wanting to build a border wall and to ‘drill baby, drill’ for oil, former President Donald Trump has been adding a new refrain to his speeches — a promise to build something like Israel’s Iron Dome, but better and over the entire U.S.

‘We’ll build an Iron Dome over our country, a state-of-the-art missile defense shield, and it’s all made in the USA,’ Trump said Sunday at a rally in New Hampshire. ‘I think it’s time that we have one.'”

-Alex Seitz-Wald, “Trump has long promised a ‘beautiful’ wall. Now he’s pledging ‘the greatest dome ever.’,” nbcnews.com, January 23, 2024

1/26/2024

LAWSUIT: “A Manhattan federal jury said Friday that Donald Trump has to pay $83.3 million for defaming E. Jean Carroll.

The breakdown of the award is $65 million in punitive damages and $18.3 million in compensatory damages.

This was Carroll’s second trial against the former president, after a jury last year found him civilly liable for sexually assaulting the writer and for defaming her. That jury awarded $5 million in damages.”

-Jordan Rubin, “E. Jean Carroll jury decides Trump must pay $83.3 million,” MSNBC.com, January 26, 2024

2/4/2024

2024 ELECTION/COLORADO/SUPREME COURT: “On Thursday, the nation’s highest court is scheduled to hear arguments over whether Trump can remain on the ballot in Colorado, where the state’s Supreme Court ruled that he violated Section 3.

It’s the first time in history that the nation’s highest court has heard a case on Section 3, which was used to keep former Confederates from holding government offices after the amendment’s 1868 adoption. It fell into disuse after Congress granted an amnesty to most ex-rebels in 1872…

After Jan. 6, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics, also known as CREW, in Washington was focused on Trump’s impeachment and other possible legal penalties against those who participated in the Capitol attack before exploring other remedies.”

-Nicholas Riccardi, “Here’s how 2 sentences in the Constitution rose from obscurity to ensnare Donald Trump,” abcnews.go.com, February 4, 2024

2/6/2024

2020 ELECTION/IMMUNITY: “Donald Trump does not have presidential immunity and can be prosecuted on charges of plotting to overturn the 2020 election, a US court has ruled.

Mr Trump had claimed in the landmark legal case that he was immune from criminal charges for acts he said fell within his duties as president.

But Tuesday’s unanimous ruling in Washington DC struck down that claim.

It is a setback for Mr Trump who has for years cited presidential immunity while battling multiple cases.

‘We cannot accept former President Trump’s claim that a president has unbounded authority to commit crimes that would neutralise the most fundamental check on executive power – the recognition and implementation of election results,’ the three-judge appeals court panel wrote in its opinion.”

-Sam Cabral, “Donald Trump does not have presidential immunity, US court rules,” bbc.com, February 6, 2024

2/6/2024

2024 ELECTION/IVANKA/PAC/TRUMP FAMILY: “A political fundraising group controlled by Donald Trump has spent millions of dollars on law firms representing his adult children for their personal legal problems.

The group, called Save America PAC, spent a combined $2.3 million in 2023 for two law firms that represented Ivanka Trump, his eldest daughter, according to a Business Insider review of Federal Election Commission records.

The PAC spent an additional $5.3 million on the law firm Robert & Robert, which represented his three eldest children — Ivanka Trump, Eric Trump, and Donald Trump, Jr. — as well as the Trump Organization in an array of lawsuits that have no apparent relation to Trump’s campaign to retake the presidency in the 2024 election.”

-Jacob Shamsian, “Donald Trump paid more than $2.3 million in donor money to law firms helping Ivanka Trump with her legal problems last year,” businessinsider.com, February 6, 2024

 

2/8/2024

2024 ELECTION/NANCY PELOSI/SUPREME COURT: “The Supreme Court heard arguments on Thursday pertaining to whether states can throw Donald Trump off the 2024 presidential ballots if they determine he violated the 14th Amendment…

Trump lawyer Jonathan Mitchell rejected the notion that the violent assault on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, qualified as an insurrection.

‘This was a riot,’ he said. ‘It was not an insurrection.’ […]

Trump disagrees, apparently.

‘They kept saying about what I said right after the insurrection,’ he said outside Mar-a-Lago after arguments concluded in Washington, D.C. ‘I think it was an insurrection caused by Nancy Pelosi.'”

-Ryan Bort, “Trump Says Jan. 6 Was an Insurrection,” rollingstone.com, February 8, 2024

2/8/2024

CLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS/JOE BIDEN: “Special counsel Robert Hur noted the differences between investigations into President Joe Biden’s and former President Donald Trump’s handling of classified documents in a section of his report on Thursday…

‘Most notably, after being given multiple chances to return classified documents and avoid prosecution, Mr. Trump allegedly did the opposite,’ the report said. ‘According to the indictment, he not only refused to return the documents for months, but he also obstructed justice by enlisting others to destroy evidence and then to lie about it.’ […]

Trump wrote on Thursday that the Hur report is indicative of ‘a two-tiered system of justice and selective prosecution.'”

-Alec Hernández and Megan Lebowitz, “What’s the difference between the Trump and Biden classified documents investigations?,” nbcnews.com, February 8, 2024

2/15/2024

MEDIA/TRUMP BUSINESS: “US regulators have finally given the green light to a controversial merger between Truth Social owner Trump Media & Technology Group and a blank-check company. The blessing from the Securities and Exchange Commission removes the last major obstacle holding back the deal.

The merger, if approved by shareholders, would pave the way for Trump Media to become a publicly-traded company — one where Trump will own a dominant stake that could be worth billions.”

-Matt Egan, “Donald Trump just got the green light to return to Wall Street,” finance.yahoo.com, February 15, 2024

2/16/2024

LEGAL/NEW YORK/TRUMP BUSINESS/TRUMP FAMILY: “A New York judge on Friday handed Donald J. Trump a crushing defeat in his civil fraud case, finding the former president liable for conspiring to manipulate his net worth and ordering him to pay a penalty of $355 million that could wipe out his entire stockpile of cash.

Justice Engoron barred Mr. Trump for three years from serving in top roles at any New York company, including his own Trump Organization. He also imposed a two-year ban on the former president’s adult sons and ordered that they pay more than $4 million each. One of them, Eric Trump, is the company’s de facto chief executive, and the ruling throws into doubt whether any member of the family can run the business in the near term…

‘Their complete lack of contrition and remorse borders on pathological,’ [the judge] said.”

-Jonah E. Bromwich and Ben Protess, “Trump Ordered to Pay $355 Million and Barred From New York Business,” nytimes.com, February 16, 2024

2/16/2024

IMMUNITY/LEGAL/SUPREME COURT: “Lawsuits seeking to hold Donald Trump personally accountable for his role in the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol can move forward after the former president chose not to take his broad immunity claim to the Supreme Court.

Trump had a Thursday deadline to file a petition at the Supreme Court contesting an appeals court decision from December that rejected his immunity arguments, but he did not do so.”

-Lawrence Hurley, “Trump opts against Supreme Court appeal on civil immunity claim over Jan. 6 lawsuits,” nbcnews.com, February 16, 2024

2/16/2024

ABORTION/JOE BIDEN: “President Joe Biden’s campaign and abortion rights advocates ripped into former President Donald Trump on abortion Friday following a report that he has given private signals in favor of a national ban on abortions after 16 weeks of pregnancy that would include exceptions in cases of rape, incest and when the woman’s life is in danger.

During his presidential campaign, Trump has steered clear of taking a public position on a prospective national ban — which would require congressional approval — but The New York Times reported Friday that he has indicated behind closed doors that he likes the idea of prohibiting abortion after 16 weeks in most cases.”

-Natasha Korecki, Jonathan Allen and Kristen Welker, “Trump campaign scrambles over abortion ban report as Democrats seize the moment,” nbcnews.com, February 16, 2024