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Name: Chris Bastian
Gender: Male
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Home country: USA
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 78,331

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Do I want to know the backstory?


Judge Lifts Contempt Order Against Trump in Civil Inquiry

Source: New York Times

Donald J. Trump was released from a judicial order holding him in contempt of court on Wednesday, ending an embarrassing two-week period for the former president, whose business practices are under civil investigation by the New York state attorney general.

A New York State judge, Arthur F. Engoron, held Mr. Trump in contempt late last month after finding that he had failed to comply with the terms of a December subpoena sent by the attorney general, Letitia James, requesting documents from his personal files. The judge ordered Mr. Trump to pay $10,000 a day until he complied, leading to a $110,000 penalty.

On Wednesday, Justice Engoron withdrew the contempt order, but set a few conditions, including requiring Mr. Trump to pay the fine. The judge ruled that if Mr. Trump and his company did not meet the conditions by May 20, he would reinstate the contempt order and retroactively apply the $10,000-a-day fine.

In an effort to cooperate with the judge’s original contempt order, lawyers for Mr. Trump filed a number of recent court documents attesting to a thorough search of his records. An outside company also assured the judge that it had reviewed a vast number of files — more than 1,300 boxes — including Mr. Trump’s hard-copy calendars, records in file cabinets at the Trump Organization’s offices in Midtown Manhattan and boxes of documents at off-site storage facilities.

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/05/11/nyregion/trump-contempt-letitia-james.html

'Provide some cover': New Eastman emails shed light on his push to overturn Biden's win

Source: Politico

Attorney John Eastman urged Republican legislators in Pennsylvania to retabulate the state’s popular vote — and throw out tens of thousands of absentee ballots — in order to show Donald Trump with a lead, according to newly unearthed emails sent in December 2020, as Trump pressured GOP lawmakers to subvert his defeat.

This recalculation, he posited in an exchange with one GOP state lawmaker, “would help provide some cover” for Republicans to replace Joe Biden’s electors from the state with a slate of pro-Trump electors, part of a last-ditch bid to overturn the election results.

Per the exchange, Eastman suggested that GOP legislators could simply cite their concerns with Pennsylvania’s absentee ballot procedures and then use historical data to “discount each candidates’ totals by a prorated amount based on the absentee percentage those candidates otherwise received.”


The exchange was part of a batch of emails obtained from the University of Colorado, where Eastman worked as a visiting professor at the time he was helping Trump strategize ways to remain in power. The emails were obtained via public records requests by the Colorado Ethics Institute, which sent them along to the Jan. 6 select committee last month. It’s unclear whether the select committee had previously obtained these emails — which are available via public records requests — or whether they are in receipt of the Colorado group’s files.

Read more: https://www.politico.com/news/2022/05/10/eastman-emails-pennsylvania-legislators-biden-00031668

'Stop being so doom and gloom': Democrats launch $15M effort to 'Blue Shift Florida'

Source: Politico

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — In what may prove to be Florida’s last stand as a battleground state, Democrats are launching a $15 million voter organizing effort ahead of this year’s elections.

Democratic candidates up and down the ballot — even those running in contested primaries — have agreed to pour in money that will be used to hire at least 200 organizers and open as many as 80 offices as part of a coordinated effort to pump up turnout across the state.

Florida Democratic Party Chair Manny Diaz contends “Blue Shift Florida” is the start of an ambitious, institutionalized year-round effort that he has been touting since he took the helm of the battered party soon after Democrats were routed across the state in the last election. The idea, he said, was to create an operation that will remain intact after the elections and will be in place for the next presidential election in 2024.

“We’ve been killed since 2000,” Diaz told POLITICO, citing the razor-tight presidential election were George W. Bush narrowly edged out former Vice President Al Gore. “It’s been a real mess. My mission — my push — from day one is that’s not going to happen again.”

Read more: https://www.politico.com/news/2022/05/11/democrats-florida-voting-elections-00031613

House Democrats press DOJ to probe Trump Interior secretary for permit reversal

Source: Politico

House Democrats asked the Justice Department on Wednesday to investigate whether former Interior Secretary David Bernhardt improperly leaned on agency staff to approve a project for an Arizona land developer who made large donations to Republicans and then-President Donald Trump’s reelection effort.

In the letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland, House Natural Resources Chair Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.), chair of its Oversight and Investigations panel, allege that Bernhardt during his time as deputy secretary in 2017 pressured career staff at the Fish and Wildlife Service to reverse their denial of a water permit needed for the construction of Villages at Vigneto, a proposed high-end development of 28,000 homes, a golf course and restaurants in southern Arizona. The lawmakers cite interviews with Trump-era officials and emails from Interior Department staff as evidence.

Around the same time as the reversal, Michael Ingram, the owner of the land to be developed, and a group of Arizona donors including his personal and business associates gave $241,600 to political campaign committees associated with Trump, the committee’s review of campaign finance records show.

The new effort shows House Democrats are still focused on probing the Trump administration’s actions nearly 18 months after it left office. Bernhardt, a former lobbyist, had faced numerous accusations while in office that he made decisions benefiting his former clients and hid documents such as his public schedule.

Read more: https://www.politico.com/news/2022/05/11/dems-doj-bernhardt-probe-00031396

Alito's draft opinion overturning Roe is still the only one circulated inside Supreme Court

Source: Politico

The Supreme Court is set to gather Thursday for the first time since the disclosure that it voted to overturn Roe v. Wade, and there’s no sign that the court is changing course from issuing that ruling by the end of June.

Justice Samuel Alito’s sweeping and blunt draft majority opinion from February overturning Roe remains the court’s only circulated draft in the pending Mississippi abortion case, POLITICO has learned, and none of the conservative justices who initially sided with Alito have to date switched their votes. No dissenting draft opinions have circulated from any justice, including the three liberals.

That could explain why no second draft of Alito’s majority opinion has been distributed, as typically the two sides react to one another’s written arguments and recast their own.

As the nine justices prepare for their scheduled, private, closed-door conference this week, they face one of the greatest crises in modern Supreme Court history, with an internal leak investigation under way, an agitated nation focused on whether the constitutional right to abortion is about to be overturned, and some justices facing angry protests at their homes.

Read more: https://www.politico.com/news/2022/05/11/alito-abortion-draft-opinion-roe-00031648

Life in New York.....


Anne just vocally sniped at a photographer for ruining her shot. DRAMA!

Trump gets knocked down in Nebraska


If Donald Trump looked like a kingmaker after his endorsement put J.D. Vance over the top in Ohio’s Senate primary last week, he was downright middling on Tuesday.

Trump’s candidate won a closely-watched House race in West Virginia. But Nebraska was a train wreck for the former president.


Trumpworld was bracing to take some hits this month. But they weren’t planning on it coming so soon — or looking this ugly.

Charles Herbster, Trump’s endorsed candidate for Nebraska governor, was running for an open seat, not challenging an entrenched incumbent, as is the case for some of Trump’s favored candidates competing in primaries later this month. Candidates don’t get any more MAGA than Herbster, a Trump megadonor who all but stapled himself to the former president during the primary.

"The Boys Are Back in Town..."


Lindstrom leads early in GOP primary for governor; Bacon, Vargas far ahead in 2nd District (NE)

Omaha World-Herald

In the contested Democratic primary for the 2nd District seat in Congress, State. Sen. Tony Vargas was leading Alisha Shelton nearly three-to-one.

Vargas appears headed to a November campaign against three-term incumbent Republican Don Bacon, who was leading challenger Steve Kuehl by a four-to-one margin.

Brett Lindstrom and Jim Pillen led the Republican field in the first returns in Nebraska’s hotly contested GOP primary for governor, with Charles W. Herbster third.

In the early numbers, Lindstrom led with 18,356 votes, followed by Pillen with 11,839 and Herbster at 7,322.
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