Trump warns of losing presidential immunity consequences for himself and Biden


Former President Trump warned of the consequences of losing his presidential immunity, stating that if he loses it, so will ‘crooked’ President Joe Biden. Trump argues that without immunity, the presidency’s power and prestige would diminish, leaving it vulnerable to extortion and blackmail. He believes that immunity is crucial for a president to function properly and prevent the opposing party from indicting former presidents. Trump’s criminal trial on charges related to hush money payments awaits the Supreme Court’s ruling on presidential immunity, expected by mid-June.

Trump pleaded not guilty to charges brought against him by Special Counsel Jack Smith, claiming immunity. He expressed concerns that the presidency would be consumed by other branches of government without immunity. Trump highlighted the risk of former presidents being indicted immediately by the opposing party if immunity is not granted, jeopardizing the functioning of the presidency. The Supreme Court is fast-tracking Trump’s appeal on presidential immunity, delaying his criminal trial.

Meanwhile, Trump is required to attend his New York City criminal trial daily, with the trial expected to last through early June. His attorneys’ request to delay the trial until after the Supreme Court’s ruling on immunity was denied. Trump sought permission to attend the Supreme Court arguments on immunity, but the judge overseeing the trial declined. The Supreme Court is set to rule on the issue by mid-June, impacting Trump’s criminal trial charges brought by Smith.

The Supreme Court’s ruling on presidential immunity will determine the course of Trump’s criminal trial, which is on hold pending the decision. Trump faces charges related to conspiracy to defraud the United States and obstructing official proceedings. This marks the second time this term that the Supreme Court is hearing a case involving Trump, following a recent ruling in his favor regarding ballot access challenges in Colorado.


Fulton county prosecutors prepare racketeering charges in Trump inquiry | Georgia | The Guardian

Skip to main contentSkip to navigationSkip to navigation Print subscriptions Sign in Search jobs Search US edition US edition UK edition Australia edition International edition Europe edition The Guardian – Back to home The Guardian News Opinion Sport Culture Lifestyle ShowMore Show More News View all News US news World news Environment US politics Ukraine Soccer Business Tech Science Newsletters Wellness Opinion View all Opinion The Guardian view Columnists Letters Opinion videos Cartoons Sport View all Sport Soccer NFL Tennis MLB MLS NBA NHL F1 Golf Culture View all Culture Film Books Music Art & design TV & radio Stage Classical Games Lifestyle View all Lifestyle Wellness Fashion Food Recipes Love & sex Home & garden Health & fitness Family Travel Money Search input google-search Search Support us Print subscriptions US edition UK edition Australia edition International edition Europe edition Search jobs Digital Archive Guardian Puzzles app Guardian Licensing About Us The Guardian app Video Podcasts Pictures Inside the Guardian Guardian Weekly Crosswords Wordiply Corrections Facebook Twitter Search jobs Digital Archive Guardian Puzzles app Guardian Licensing About Us US World Environment US Politics Ukraine Soccer Business Tech Science Newsletters Wellness New details about the direction and scope of case signal prosecutors are close to finalizing charges. Photograph: Mario Tama/Getty Images New details about the direction and scope of case signal prosecutors are close to finalizing charges. Photograph: Mario Tama/Getty Images Georgia This article is more than 4 months old Fulton county prosecutors prepare racketeering charges in Trump inquiry This article is more than 4 months old Exclusive: racketeering charges based on influencing witnesses and computer trespass, sources say US politics – follow live updates Hugo Lowell in Atlanta, Georgia @hugolowell Fri 21 Jul 2023 05.00 EDTLast modified on Fri 21 Jul 2023 10.13 EDT The Fulton county district attorney investigating Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election results in the state of Georgia has developed evidence to charge a sprawling racketeering indictment next month, according to two people briefed on the matter. Georgia grand jury selected in Trump case over attempt to overturn 2020 defeat Read more The racketeering statute in Georgia requires prosecutors to show the existence of an “enterprise” – and a pattern of racketeering activity that is predicated on at least two “qualifying” crimes. In the Trump investigation, the Fulton county district attorney, Fani Willis, has evidence to pursue a racketeering indictment predicated on statutes related to influencing witnesses and computer trespass, the people said. Willis had previously said she was weighing racketeering charges in her criminal investigation, but the new details about the direction and scope of the case come as prosecutors are expected to seek indictments starting in the first two weeks of August. The racketeering statute in Georgia is more expansive than its federal counterpart, notably because any attempts to solicit or coerce the qualifying crimes can be included as predicate acts of racketeering activity, even when those crimes cannot be indicted separately. The specific evidence was not clear, though the charge regarding influencing witnesses could include Trump’s conversations with Georgia’s secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, in which he asked Raffensperger to “find” 11,780 votes, the people said – and thereby implicate Trump. For the computer trespass charge, where prosecutors would have to show that defendants used a computer or network without authority to interfere with a program or data, that would include the breach of voting machines in Coffee county, the two people said. The breach of voting machines involved a group of Trump operatives – paid by the then Trump lawyer Sidney Powell – accessing the voting machines at the county’s election office and copying sensitive voting system data. The copied data from the Dominion Voting Systems machines, which are used statewide in Georgia, was then uploaded to a password-protected site from where election deniers could download the materials as part of a misguided effort to prove the 2020 election had been rigged. Though Coffee county is outside the usual jurisdiction of the Fulton county district attorney’s office, the racketeering statute would allow prosecutors to also charge what the Trump operatives did there by showing it was all aimed towards the goal of corruptly keeping Trump in office. A spokesperson for Willis did not respond to requests for comment. skip past newsletter promotion Sign up to Headlines US Free newsletter Get the most important US headlines and highlights emailed direct to you every morning Privacy Notice: Newsletters may contain info about charities, online ads, and content funded by outside parties. For more information see our Privacy Policy. We use Google reCaptcha to protect our website and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. after newsletter promotion The district attorney’s office has spent more than two years investigating whether Trump and his allies interfered in the 2020 election in Georgia, while prosecutors at the federal level are scrutinizing Trump’s efforts to reverse his defeat that culminated in the January 6 Capitol attack. A special grand jury in Atlanta that heard evidence for roughly seven months recommended charges for more than a dozen people, including the former president himself, its forewoman strongly suggested in interviews, though Willis will have to seek indictments from a regular grand jury. The grand jury that could decide whether to return an indictment against Trump was seated on 11 July. The selection process was attended by Willis and two prosecutors known to be on the Trump investigation: her deputy district attorney, Will Wooten, and special prosecutor Nathan Wade. Charges stemming from the Trump investigation are expected to come between the final week of July and the first two weeks of August, the Guardian has previously reported, after Willis told her team to shift to remote work during that period because of security concerns. The district attorney originally suggested charging decisions were “imminent” in January, but the timetable has been repeatedly delayed after a number of Republicans who acted as fake electors accepted immunity deals as the investigation neared its end. Explore more on these topics Georgia Donald Trump US elections 2020 US politics US crime Law (US) news Reuse this content Most viewed Most viewed US World Environment US Politics Ukraine Soccer Business Tech Science Newsletters Wellness News Opinion Sport Culture Lifestyle Original reporting and incisive analysis, direct from the Guardian every morningSign up for our email About us Help Complaints & corrections SecureDrop Work for us Privacy policy Cookie policy Terms & conditions Contact us All topics All writers Digital newspaper archive Facebook YouTube Instagram LinkedIn Twitter Newsletters Advertise with us Guardian Labs Search jobs Back to top © 2023 Guardian News & Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. (dcr)

@[100044274887410:2048:Donald J. Trump] to be brought on racketeering charges in Georgia over his pressure campaign to steal the election.


Trump says he’s received a target letter from special counsel Jack Smith’s Jan. 6 investigators – POLITICO

Skip to Main Content POLITICO Politico Logo Congress Pro E&E News Search Search WASHINGTON & POLITICS Congress White House Elections Legal Magazine Foreign Affairs 2024 ELECTIONS News GOP Candidate Tracker STATE POLITICS & POLICY California Florida New Jersey New York GLOBAL POLITICS & POLICY Brussels Canada United Kingdom POLICY NEWS Agriculture Cannabis Cybersecurity Defense Education Energy & Environment Finance & Tax Health Care Immigration Labor Sustainability Technology Trade Transportation NEWSLETTERS Playbook Playbook PM West Wing Playbook POLITICO Nightly POLITICO Weekend The Recast Huddle All Newsletters COLUMNISTS Alex Burns John Harris Jonathan Martin Michael Schaffer Jack Shafer Rich Lowry SERIES & MORE Breaking News Alerts Podcasts Video The Fifty Women Rule Matt Wuerker Cartoons Cartoon Carousel POLITICO Live Upcoming Events Previous Events Follow us Twitter Instagram Facebook My Account Log In Log Out legal Trump says he’s received a target letter from special counsel Jack Smith’s Jan. 6 investigators It’s the clearest sign yet that Trump may soon face his third criminal indictment — this time for his effort to subvert the 2020 election results. While the specific crimes that former President Donald Trump may be charged with are not clear, Smith’s team has been eyeing potential obstruction charges related to Trump’s actions in the days leading up to Jan. 6 and on that day itself. | Giorgio Viera/AFP via Getty Images By Kyle Cheney 07/18/2023 09:32 AM EDT Updated: 07/18/2023 10:07 AM EDT Link Copied Donald Trump said Tuesday he expects to be indicted by special counsel Jack Smith’s Jan. 6 grand jury, citing a “target letter” he received from investigators on Sunday. Such a letter “almost always means an arrest and indictment,” Trump, who has already been criminally indicted twice in recent months, wrote on Truth Social. Trump said the letter, which is prosecutors’ typical precursor to a charging decision, offered him a chance to speak to the grand jury, which meets at the federal courthouse in Washington D.C., later this week. Targets of criminal investigations rarely speak to grand juries, and Trump has not exercised that right in the two other criminal cases in which he’s been charged. Legal Tracking the Trump criminal cases By POLITICO Staff The letter is the clearest sign yet that Smith is close to seeking an indictment for Trump’s role in the effort to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power on Jan. 6, 2021. While the specific crimes that Trump may be charged with are not clear, Smith’s team has been eyeing potential obstruction charges related to Trump’s actions in the days leading up to Jan. 6 and on that day itself — including pressuring his vice president, Mike Pence, to unilaterally block the certification of Joe Biden’s electoral victory. Investigators have also examined Trump’s consideration of a plan to seize voting machines from the states, his campaign of false claims that the election was stolen and his role in advancing a plan to assemble bogus slates of presidential electors to stoke a conflict ahead of Jan. 6. It’s unclear whether other figures associated with Trump’s effort are also in Smith’s sights. Investigators have interviewed dozens of prominent figures in Trump’s orbit, including Pence, in recent months. Attorneys John Eastman and Jeff Clark — two Trump associates considered key allies in his effort — had their phones seized last year. Trump revealed the target letter as he prepares to fight on another front to delay a criminal trial — also resulting from charges brought by Smith — related to his hoarding of national security secrets at his Mar-a-Lago estate. Trump’s attorneys will be in court in Fort Pierce, Fla. on Tuesday afternoon asking for the trial to be postponed until after the 2024 election, a prospect that Smith’s team has vehemently opposed. Trump is facing an extraordinary array of criminal charges and investigations. In addition to the two cases Smith has mounted, he’s facing charges in Manhattan for allegedly falsifying business records to cover up a hush money payment scheme to a porn actress accusing him of an extramarital affair in 2016. And a district attorney based in Fulton County, Ga. has convened a grand jury that is expected to consider charging Trump and allies for efforts to subvert the 2020 election in Georgia. Many aspects of Smith’s Jan. 6 investigation were previously pursued by the House select committee on Jan. 6, which interviewed hundreds of figures associated with Trump’s scheme to seize a second term despite losing the election. The committee concluded that Trump was at the center of a complex, months-long effort to sow doubt about the election results and then orchestrate several attempts to reverse the outcome despite no evidence of significant fraud. The panel focused in particular on Trump’s effort to pressure state and local officials to appoint “alternative” slates of presidential electors in seven states won by Biden and then use those slates as a pretense to disrupt the Jan. 6 session of Congress — when the Constitution and federal laws require Congress to meet and certify the election. That session, also according to the Constitution and law, is managed by the vice president, who doubles as president of the Senate. When no state officials acquiesced, Trump turned to a cadre of lawyers, including Eastman, who promoted fringe alternatives to keep Trump’s prospects alive. Eastman famously pressured Pence and his top aides to violate provisions of the Electoral Count Act — the law that has governed the Jan. 6 session of Congress since 1887 — to advance the effort. Prosecutors and the select committee have also focused on Trump’s effort to assemble a massive crowd in Washington on Jan. 6, part of his plan to pressure Pence and GOP lawmakers to help reverse the results, and then to steer it toward the Capitol after Pence made clear he wouldn’t go along with the plan. Trump inflamed the crowd with his rhetoric and then stoked anger further when he attacked Pence — even as violence was underway at the Capitol — accusing him of lacking “courage.” Pence and lawmakers were forced to evacuate and delay the count of electoral votes for six hours while law enforcement and the National Guard worked to clear the mob. Filed under: Donald Trump, Donald Trump 2024, 2020 Presidential Candidates, 2020 Elections, Jack Smith, Trump Indictment POLITICO Link Copied About Us Advertising Breaking News Alerts Careers Credit Card Payments Digital Edition FAQ Feedback Headlines Photos POWERJobs Press Print Subscriptions Request A Correction Write For Us RSS Site Map Terms of Service Privacy Policy Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information and Opt Out of Targeted Advertising © 2023 POLITICO LLC

@[100044274887410:2048:Donald J. Trump] will be indicted again for his scheme to stop the peaceful transfer of power by planning on the DOJ to seize voting machines, assembling fake electors, his fake electors submitting fraudulent votes, pressuring state officials to ignore votes and hand him the election, and of course for sending an armed mob to the Capitol to stop his Vice President from participating in the certification of the election.


David Weiss: Special counsel overseeing Hunter Biden criminal probe | CNN Politics

David Weiss, the Donald Trump-appointed US attorney who on Friday was named a special counsel leading the investigation into President Joe Biden’s son Hunter, has decades of experience as a federal prosecutor.

The appointment marks another dramatic development in the long-running probe into Hunter Biden, which began in 2018 and, at one time, concerned multiple financial and business activities in foreign countries dating to when Joe Biden was vice president.

Attorney General Merrick Garland said Friday that the move stemmed from Weiss’ request earlier this week to be elevated to special counsel – which now gives him more powers than a typical US attorney – and due to the “extraordinary circumstances” of this case and “public interest.”

“I am confident that Mr. Weiss will carry out his responsibility in an evenhanded and urgent manner and in accordance with the highest traditions of this department,” Garland said.

Weiss, the Delaware US attorney, met in April with Biden’s attorneys, who had requested a routine status update on the investigation, and it had appeared in June that the probe was near its end with a plea agreement. Hunter Biden agreed to plead guilty to two tax misdemeanors and struck a deal with federal prosecutors to resolve a felony gun charge.

However, in a court hearing last month, the deal nearly collapsed after a federal judge slammed the intertwined deals as “unprecedented” and asked the Justice Department and Biden’s lawyers to file additional legal briefs defending the constitutionality of the deal. In a court filing Friday, Weiss said the plea talks between the two parties broke down following the court hearing.

The appointment of a special counsel has long been called for by Republicans who have repeatedly criticized the Justice Department’s handling of the probe as being favorable to the president and his son. A senior Justice Department official told CNN that the White House and Biden’s legal team were not informed beforehand about the appointment.

However, House GOP members on Friday questioned whether Weiss could be trusted and reiterated calls for Weiss to testify before Congress.

“This action by Biden’s DOJ cannot be used to obstruct congressional investigations or whitewash the Biden family corruption,” House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said in a tweet. “If Weiss negotiated the sweetheart deal that couldn’t get approved, how can he be trusted as a Special Counsel?”

In 2018, the Senate confirmed Weiss to serve as US attorney for the District of Delaware. At the time of his nomination, he was serving as the acting US attorney for the district and was one of nine candidates whom Trump said shared his “vision for ‘Making America Safe Again.’”

The Philadelphia native is a member of the Delaware and Pennsylvania bars.

A Washington University in St. Louis and Widener University School of Law graduate, Weiss began his career in law in 1984 as a clerk to Justice Andrew D. Christie of the Delaware Supreme Court, according to his Justice Department biography.

Following his clerkship, Weiss prosecuted violent crimes and white-collar offenses as an assistant US attorney before joining firm Duane Morris, where he was a commercial litigation associate and eventually became a partner. He later served as chief operating officer and senior vice president at The Siegfried Group, a financial services firm, according to his biography.

He served as the first assistant US attorney starting in 2007.

Weiss’ investigation into Hunter Biden continued into the Biden administration, prompting Garland to stress during a March Senate committee hearing that he would not interfere with the investigation. Weiss, he reiterated at the time, had “full authority” to carry out the investigation and to bring in another jurisdiction if necessary.

Garland said Weiss was “not to be denied anything that he needs.”

This story has been updated with additional developments.

This dude was HAND PICKED by Donald Trump to put Hunter Biden away… he spent FIVE YEARS investigating Hunter Biden. This was the best they got because as we have seen dozens of time the right wing alternative reality slams into actual reality when dealing with the courts


Westchester DA Quietly Closes Trump Investigation Without Charges

Skip to Main Content Crossword Newsletters ALL Gift Guides Cheat Sheet Obsessed Politics Israel-Gaza Entertainment Media Opinion U.S. News Scouted CHEAT SHEET POLITICS Biden World Elections Opinion National Security Congress Pay Dirt The New Abnormal Trumpland MEDIA Confider Daytime Talk Late-Night Fox News U.S. NEWS Identities Crime Race LGBT Extremism Coronavirus WORLD Russia Europe China Middle East INNOVATION Science TRAVEL ENTERTAINMENT TV Movies Music Comedy Sports Sex TDB’s Obsessed Awards Shows The Last Laugh CULTURE Power Trip Fashion Books Royalist TECH Disinformation SCOUTED Sales Reviews New Kids on the Block Beauty Fitness Home Technology Travel COUPONS Vistaprint Coupons Ulta Coupons Office Depot Coupons Adidas Promo Codes Walmart Promo Codes H&M Coupons Spanx Promo Codes StubHub Promo Codes Products Newsletters Podcasts Crosswords Subscription FOLLOW US GOT A TIP? SEARCH HOMEPAGE Politics Westchester DA Quietly Closes Trump Investigation Without Charges MOVIN’ RIGHT ALONG The office, located just north of New York City, was looking into Trump’s forested estate, which has been accused of dodging taxes by faking paperwork. Jose Pagliery Political Investigations Reporter Published Jun. 15, 2023 6:52PM EDT Reuters/Amr Alfiky On Thursday, the tiniest and least consequential of all the criminal investigations into former President Donald Trump quietly came to a close. Westchester District Attorney Mimi Rocah’s small office just north of New York City was looking into Trump’s forested estate, which has been accused of dodging taxes by faking paperwork. Her effort was a little-examined parallel investigation of a much more intensive law enforcement operation now underway by the state’s attorney general, Letitia James. Last year, the AG sued the Trump family for bank and insurance fraud in a lawsuit that documented the way their business empire has inflated real estate values to score bank loans—and in the case of his wooded estate, maximize a tax write-off on donated land. Rocah’s office refused to answer any questions about the investigation in recent months, but issued a simple statement Thursday afternoon. “The Westchester County District Attorney’s Office conducted an investigation regarding certain properties owned by Donald J. Trump and/or the Trump Organization located in Westchester County, New York. Our investigation is now closed. We approached this investigation as we do all of our investigations, objectively, and independent of politics, party affiliation and personal or political beliefs,” announced public information officer Anna Young. But a bitter Trump demanded more than that, posting a statement in all caps on his Truth Social network. “This was the honorable thing to do in that I did nothing wrong, but where and when do I get my reputation back? When will the other fake cases against me be dropped? Election interference!!!” he wrote. Jose Pagliery Political Investigations Reporter @Jose_Pagliery Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast here. READ THIS LIST Cheat Sheet Politics Entertainment Media World Innovation U.S. News Scouted Travel Subscription Crossword Newsletters Podcasts About Contact Tips Jobs Advertise Help Privacy Code of Ethics & Standards Diversity Terms & Conditions Copyright & Trademark Sitemap Coupons Coupons: Dick’s Sporting Goods Coupons HP Coupon Codes Chewy Promo Codes Nordstrom Rack Coupons NordVPN Coupons JCPenny Coupons Nordstrom Coupons Samsung Promo Coupons Home Depot Coupons Hotwire Promo Codes eBay Coupons Ashley Furniture Promo Codes © 2023 The Daily Beast Company LLC

On Thursday, the tiniest and least consequential of all the criminal investigations into former President Donald Trump quietly came to a close.

Westchester District Attorney Mimi Rocah’s small office just north of New York City was looking into Trump’s forested estate, which has been accused of dodging taxes by faking paperwork.

-Daily Beast


Trump Commutes Sentence Of Longtime Friend And Adviser Roger Stone

President Trump on Friday evening commuted the prison sentence of his longtime friend Roger Stone, a veteran Republican operative who was convicted of lying to Congress about his efforts to contact WikiLeaks during Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.

“Roger Stone is a victim of the Russia Hoax that the Left and its allies in the media perpetuated for years in an attempt to undermine the Trump Presidency,” White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in a statement. “There was never any collusion between the Trump Campaign, or the Trump Administration, with Russia.”

“Roger Stone has already suffered greatly,” she continued. “He was treated very unfairly, as were many others in this case. Roger Stone is now a free man!”

Stone’s attorney Robert Buschel told NPR, “We are grateful and relieved. Glad this nightmare is over.”

The commutation, which Trump issued days before Stone was to report to federal prison, brings an end to Stone’s legal fight — but only further inflames the political battle over his prosecution and the broader Russia investigation.

Earlier Friday evening, a federal appeals court had denied an emergency bid from Stone to stay out of prison.

The case against Stone was brought by then-special counsel Robert Mueller as part of his probe into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and possible ties between Moscow and the Trump campaign.

Stone was indicted on charges of lying to Congress, witness tampering and obstruction. The charges related to his efforts during the 2016 presidential race to act as an intermediary between the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks.

WikiLeaks was releasing Democratic emails stolen by Russian intelligence services, and Stone publicly and privately presented himself as someone with inside knowledge about the group’s operations.

After the election, when Stone was questioned under oath about the matter by the House Intelligence Committee, he lied to lawmakers about his efforts to contact WikiLeaks. He also tried to prevent an associate from testifying before the committee.

After a tumultuous runup to his trial, during which the presiding judge, Amy Berman Jackson, imposed a gag order on Stone after he published a threatening photograph of her, a jury found him guilty on all seven counts in November.

After his trial, Stone raised allegations of juror misconduct and tried to get the verdict dismissed. Jackson entertained the motion, even holding a hearing in which she brought back members of the jury for questioning, but she ultimately rejected Stone’s bid for a new trial and sentenced him to more than three years in prison.

Stone has since appealed his conviction.

In an interview this month with ABC News, Attorney General William Barr called Stone’s prosecution “righteous” and said the sentence handed down was “fair.”

On Twitter Friday night, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., the chair of the House Intelligence Committee, said that “commuting Roger Stone’s sentence is a terrible blow to justice and the rule of law.” He added: “Through this act, Trump is saying: ‘If you lie for me, if you cover up for me, if you obstruct for me, I will protect you.’ “

Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, the lone Republican to vote to convict Trump in his impeachment trial, also blasted the commutation, calling it “[u]nprecedented, historic corruption” on Twitter on Saturday morning.


Trump Says He May End Housing Desegregation Rule

President Donald Trump said he may get rid of a fair housing rule originally designed to desegretate neighborhoods, which some say in practice simply means building more housing. His administration has been trying to revise an Obama-era regulation on how to enforce the Civil Rights-era law; opponents say it’s an effort to weaken the rules.

Trump in a Twitter post though suggested he may want to go further. “At the request of many great Americans who live in the Suburbs, and others, I am studying the AFFH housing regulation that is having a devastating impact on these once thriving Suburban areas,” Trump said in a tweet. “Not fair to homeowners, I may END!” Trump didn’t offer additional details about his plans.


In Exchange for Aid, Trump Wants Praise From Governors He Can Use in Campaign Ads

As he increasingly tries to shovel blame for the shortage of medical supplies onto the governors of states with densely populated areas that are suffering the most from the coronavirus pandemic, President Donald Trump was asked on Friday what more he wants them to do. It was, he said, “very simple: I want them to be appreciative.”

Trump contrasted those two Democratic governors, who have been blunt about the federal government’s failings, with two others who have appealed to the president’s vanity in an attempt to get his help. Andrew Cuomo, the governor of New York, has been “appreciative,” Trump said. Gavin Newsom, the governor of California, had also spoken well of him, Trump noted. “I appreciate his nice words,” the president said. “I really appreciate it.”

Trump’s choice of those two governors was probably not coincidental. Earlier on Friday, his reelection campaign unveiled a schmaltzy new ad — entitled, of all things, “Hope” — that cast his response to the pandemic in heroic terms, and featured video of both governors praising him.

While Trump approved Newsom’s request to declare the coronavirus outbreak in California a major disaster within hours of the governor asking on Sunday, freeing federal funds, the president failed to respond to a similar request from Whitmer on Thursday. Instead, he belittled her in an interview with Sean Hannity on Fox News Thursday night. “We’ve had a big problem with the young, a woman governor from — you know who I’m talking about — from Michigan,” Trump told Hannity. “She is a new governor and it’s not been pleasant.”

“She doesn’t get it done, and we send her a lot,” Trump complained. “Now she wants a declaration of emergency and, you know, we’ll have to make a decision on that,” Trump said.

Whitmer responded to Trump appearing to not even know her name with a Twitter plea for the personal protective equipment and other medical equipment the state desperately needs from the national strategic stockpile. “Hi, my name is Gretchen Whitmer, and that governor is me,” she wrote. “I’ve asked repeatedly and respectfully for help. We need it. No more political attacks, just PPEs, ventilators, N95 masks, test kits. You said you stand with Michigan — prove it.”

The governor told WWJ-AM in Detroit on Friday morning that she had been trying to get on the phone with Trump at about the same time he was lambasting her in a call to Hannity. “I reached out to the White House last night, asked for a phone call with the president,” she said, but never heard back.

Earlier in the week, Whitmer told a local radio station that one hospital in her state had received a shipment from the federal government last week with just 747 masks, 204 gowns, 64 face shields and 40,467 gloves. “With the exception of the gloves, that allotment of PPE didn’t cover one shift,” she said.

On Friday, the governor told CNN that, after Trump had asked governors to procure their own medical supplies, her state had placed a large number of orders — only to be told later by suppliers that they had been instructed to send the items to the federal government instead.

A short time later, Trump used the White House briefing on the public health emergency to vent more at Whitmer and Inslee. He concluded his rant by saying that he had advised Vice President Mike Pence, the head of his coronavirus task force, to not even bother speaking with them. “I say, ‘Mike, don’t call the governor of Washington, you’re wasting your time with him. Don’t call the woman in Michigan,” the president said.

“If they don’t treat you right, I don’t call,” Trump said of refusing to speak to the governors of two American states during a global pandemic.

Before calling it a day on Friday, Trump approved major disaster declarations for South Carolina and Puerto Rico, but not Michigan.

He then took out his iPhone and tried to escape blame for the outbreak in Michigan, which has already killed 92 people, by tweeting insults at the governor. “I love Michigan, one of the reasons we are doing such a GREAT job for them during this horrible Pandemic,” the president wrote. “Yet your Governor, Gretchen ‘Half’ Whitmer is way in over her head, she doesn’t have a clue. Likes blaming everyone for her own ineptitude!”

Trump’s apparent demand that the governors of U.S. states do him a political favor, though — by praising his response to the crisis on television, in exchange for him unlocking federal aid — strongly echoed the scheme he was impeached for last year. In that case, Trump withheld aid from Ukraine to coerce its president into agreeing to go on CNN and announce a sham investigation of Joe Biden, his likely rival in the November election.

In fact, the situation with Michigan’s governor is almost identical to a hypothetical the legal scholar Pamela Karlan asked members of the Judiciary Committee to consider during the impeachment hearings in December.

Update: Saturday, March 28, 5:55 p.m. EDT
On Saturday afternoon, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer reported on Twitter that she had spoken with Vice President Mike Pence and thanked the White House for declaring a major disaster declaration for Michigan, freeing up federal assistance for the state, two days after it was requested. She also thanked the FEMA for a new shipment of 112,000 N95 masks to her state’s emergency operations center.


Trump Defends Senators Under Fire for Pre-Corona Stock Dumps: They’re ‘Very Honorable People’

During a Covid-19 press conference on Friday, President Donald Trump defended the Senators who dumped stocks in January, after a briefing on the coronavirus.

Former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer asked the president, “are you concerned about members of congress that may have used information they learned on updates to sell stocks and profits of this?”

“I saw some names, I know all of them. I know everyone mentioned Dianne Feinstein, I guess, and a couple of others. I don’t know too much about what it is about, but I find them to all be very honorable people, that’s all I know, and they said they did nothing wrong. I find them, the whole group, very honorable,” Trump responded.

“So, the whole group would include Richard Burr, the head of the Intelligence Committee,  and it also would include Senator Kelly Loeffler, so the question is whether or not they should be investigated for that behavior?” Francesca Chambers, White House correspondent for McClatchy then asked the president.

Trump then attempted to place blame on Senator Dianne Feinstein — the lone Democrat of the five senators who dumped stocks.

“Well, it also includes Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat, you didn’t mention her name,” Trump remarked during the press conference. “Why didn’t you mention her name? I think she’s a really honorable person, by the way,”

“Any Senator?” Chambers pressed.

“I don’t know, because I would have to look at it. Possibly, but I find them to be honorable people,” Trump answered.


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