Posts tagged with "CNN"

Biden campaign targets two key battleground states with ads during Thanksgiving Day football game

November 23, 2023

The Biden campaign has drawn up a blitz of Thanksgiving Day advertisements in two key battleground states—airing a pair of TV spots during the Detroit Lions-Green Bay Packers NFL game this week, reports CNN.

Two ads highlighting President Joe Biden’s economic record will air during Thursday’s game in the Detroit and Milwaukee media markets, the campaign said in an announcement shared first with CNN.

It’s a move aimed at putting some points on the board with a general election audience, the campaign said, with the game “expected to reach 1.1 million adults over the age of 35 and 850,000 households in the Detroit market alone.”

As Republicans duke it out in the primary, Biden’s campaign is looking down field to next November—and voters in Michigan and Wisconsin where these ads are running will be critical to Biden’s electoral map.

In Michigan, Biden defeated Trump by 2.8 percentage points in 2020; while, in Wisconsin, Biden won by a narrower margin—6 percentage points.

But polling released earlier this month indicates Biden’s support could be slipping in those midwestern swing states. In a New York Times–Siena College poll of Michigan voters, 43% chose Biden, compared to 48% for Trump. In Wisconsin, Biden narrowly edged out Trump, 47% to 45%.

The Thanksgiving Day ad placement is part of the campaign’s $25 million ad buy announced in August and marks its latest play to reach battleground state voters during football games.

One of the ads discusses Biden’s middle-class upbringing in Scranton, Pennsylvania—making an argument that acknowledges ongoing economic strain. The ad, titled “Never Left” points to the president’s work to bring down costs on drug pricing, scale back health insurance premiums, and invest in clean energy to lower power costs. Another ad, titled “Finally,” highlights the administration’s efforts to lower prescription drug costs.

Biden, the narrator says in one ad, “knows what life is like for working people. And knows middle class life is too expensive right now.”

“For Joe Biden, it’s about restoring the sense of security working people deserve. That simple promise. That peace of mind. He’s determined to get it back – because of where he’s from and who he is,” the narrator says.

“This Thanksgiving as Americans come together, we are proud to highlight how President Biden and Vice President Harris are focused on the issues that matter most to American families and delivering real tangible results that are lowering costs for everyday Americans,” said Biden campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez.

The Biden team kicked off this effort in September by running TV ads during the NFL season opener between the Detroit Lions and Kansas City Chiefs. Those ads ran in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

In all, the Biden campaign has made more than 90 ad placements around NFL and college football programing totaling more than $1.17 million dollars, a campaign official says.

Research contact: @CNN

Facebook, Instagram will allow political ads that claim the 2020 election was stolen

November 17, 2023

Meta will allow political ads on its platforms to question the outcome of the 2020 U.S. presidential election—part of a rollback in election-related content moderation among major social media platforms over the past year ahead of the 2024 U.S. presidential contest, reports CNN.

The policy means that Metathe parent company of Facebook and Instagramwill be able to directly profit from political ads that boost false claims about the legitimacy of the 2020 election. While the company will allow political advertisements to claim that past elections, including the 2020 presidential race, were rigged, it will prohibit those that “call into question the legitimacy of an upcoming or ongoing election.”

The change is part of a year-old policy update but has not been widely reported. The Wall Street Journal reported that Meta’s ads policy had changed on Wednesday, November 15.

Meta says the policy allowing 2020 election denialism in political ads was part of an August 2022 announcement about its approach to last year’s midterm elections, when the company said it would prohibit ads targeting users in the United States, Brazil, Israel, and Italy that discourage people from voting, call into question the legitimacy of an upcoming or ongoing election, or prematurely claim an election victory.

That same month, Meta told The Washington Post that it would not remove posts from political candidates or regular users that claim voter fraud or that the 2020 election was rigged.

Meta’s broader electoral misinformation policy continues to prohibit content that could interfere with people’s ability to participate in voting or the census, such as false claims about the timing of an election, according to the company.

“We wish we could say we were surprised Meta is choosing to profit off of election denialism, but it seems to be a feature of theirs, not a bug,” TJ Ducklo, a representative for the Biden campaign, told CNN in a statement about Meta’s ad policy. “They amplified the lies behind the ‘stop the steal’ movement. Now they’re coming for its cash. Joe Biden won the election in 2020 clearly, unequivocally, and fairly—no matter what Meta choose to promote.”

Meta did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the Biden campaign’s statement.

Seprately, Meta said earlier this month that it would require political advertisers around the world to disclose any use of artificial intelligence in their ads, starting next year, as part of a broader move to limit “deepfakes” and other digitally altered misleading content.

The company also said it would prohibit political advertisers from using the its new artificial intelligence tools, which help brands generate text, backgrounds, and other marketing content.

Research contact: @CNN

Trump parrots Hitler—calling foes ‘Vermin,’ saying critics will be ‘Crushed,’ envisioning ‘Detention Camps’

November 15, 2023

Former President Donald Trump said that his political opponents were the most pressing and pernicious threat facing America during a campaign event in New Hampshire on Saturday, November 12—and that he would root them out like vermin, reports The New York Times.

Trump’s campaign rejected criticism that he was echoing the language of fascist dictators Hitler and Mussolini—then doubled down: It said on Monday that the “sad, miserable existence” of those who made such comparisons would be “crushed” when Trump was back in the White House.

“Those who try to make that ridiculous assertion are clearly snowflakes grasping for anything because they are suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome,” a campaign spokesman, Steven Cheung, said, “and their sad, miserable existence will be crushed when President Trump returns to the White House.”

At the Saturday campaign event, Trump vowed to “root out the communists, Marxists, fascists and the radical left thugs that live like vermin within the confines of our country.” He then said his political opposition was the most pr

“The threat from outside forces is far less sinister, dangerous, and grave than the threat from within,” Trump said. “Our threat is from within.”

What’s more, Trump said he is planning a widespread expansion of his first administration’s hardline immigration policies if he is elected to a second term in 2024, including rounding up undocumented immigrants already in the United States and placing them in detention camps to await deportation, a source familiar with the plans confirmed to CNN.

An earlier version of Cheung’s statement—in which he said the “entire existence” of those critics would be crushed—was reported by The Washington Post on Sunday. Cheung said on Monday that he edited his initial statement “seconds” after sending it, and the Post amended its article to include both versions.

Ammar Moussa, a spokesperson for President Joe Biden’s re-election campaign, said in a statement that Trump at his Veterans Day speech had “parroted the autocratic language” of “dictators many U.S. veterans gave their lives fighting, in order to defeat exactly the kind of un-American ideas Trump now champions.”

Though violent language was a feature of Trump’s last two campaigns, his speeches have grown more extreme as he tries to win a second term.

At recent rallies and events, Trump has compared immigrants coming over the border to Hannibal Lecter, the fictional serial killer and cannibal from the horror movie “The Silence of the Lambs.”

He called on shoplifters to be shot in a speech in California and, over the weekend in New Hampshire, he again called for drug dealers to be subject to the death penalty. He has insinuated that a military general whom he appointed as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff should be executed for treason.

Last month, Trump told a right-wing website that migrants were “poisoning the blood of our country”—a phrase recalling white supremacist ideology and comments made by Hitler in his manifesto “Mein Kampf.”

Research contact: @nytimes

Watchdog group sues to block Trump from Colorado ballot, citing 14th Amendment

September 8, 2023

A Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group filed a lawsuit on Wednesday, September 6, to block former President Donald Trump from the 2024 Republican primary ballot in Colorado, citing the 14th Amendment’s ban on insurrectionists holding public office, reports CNN.

In recent weeks, a growing number of liberal and conservative legal scholars have embraced the longshot legal strategy. The lawsuit, from Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), is the first high-profile legal case attempting to use the 14th Amendment to derail Trump’s presidential campaign.

Trump has denied wrongdoing regarding the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol and said in a recent social media post that there is “no legal basis” to use the 14th Amendment to remove him from the ballot.

A post-Civil War provision of the 14th Amendment says any American official who takes an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution is disqualified from holding any future office if they “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” or if they have “given aid or comfort” to insurrectionists.

However, the Constitution does not spell out how to enforce this ban and it has only been applied twice since the late 1800s, when it was used extensively against former Confederates.

The lawsuit was filed by CREW on behalf of six Colorado voters, whom the group says are Independents or Republicans, including former U.S. Representative Claudine Schneider and former Colorado Senate Majority Leader Norma Anderson, both Republicans.

Noah Bookbinder, president of CREW, told CNN’s Abby Phillip on “NewsNight” on Wednesday that the group chose Colorado because of its “courageous plaintiffs,” early position in the primaries, and laws.

“For all of those reasons we thought it was a good first stop. It won’t be the last stop and we and others will bring other cases as well,” he said.

CREW was behind the most successful application of the so-called “disqualification clause.” A convicted January 6 rioter who was also an elected New Mexico county commissioner was removed from office last year on 14th Amendment grounds through a different but related legal mechanism that was initiated by CREW.

The nonprofit group on Wednesday sued Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold in state court and asked a judge to issue an order “declaring Trump disqualified under the Fourteenth Amendment” and barring Griswold “from taking any action that would allow him to access the ballot.”

“Because Trump swore an oath to ‘preserve, protect and defend’ the Constitution upon assuming the Office of the President on January 20, 2017—and then engaged in insurrection against the Constitution on and around January 6, 2021—he is disqualified under Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment from ‘hold[ing] any office … under the United States,’ including the Office of the President,” the lawsuit says.

Griswold, a Democrat, said in a statement that she believes Colorado state law is “unclear” on how to review constitutional requirements for “whether a candidate is eligible for office” and that the newly filed lawsuit will provide critical legal guidance.

“I look forward to the Colorado Court’s substantive resolution of the issues and am hopeful that this case will provide guidance to election officials on Trump’s eligibility as a candidate for office,” Griswold said.

The GOP primary in Colorado is on March 5, which is Super Tuesday. Trump’s federal criminal trial on charges stemming from his efforts to overturn the 2020 election is scheduled to begin March 4. He has pleaded not guilty.

Research contact: @CNN

Reese Witherspoon sells her fashion brand, Draper James

September 7, 2023

Private equity group Consortium Brand Partners announced on Wednesday, September 6, that it has acquired actress Reese Witherspoon’s fashion and lifestyle brand, Draper James, through a majority stake, reports CNN.

According to the deal, Consortium Brand Partners acquired a 70% stake in the company for an undisclosed amount while Witherspoon remains a partner and board member in the business.

The Oscar-winning actress, producer, and entrepreneur launched the retail brand inspired by her Southern roots in 2015 as a direct-to-consumer business selling clothing in bright hues and bold prints, as well as accessories and home items.

As the business grew, the brand subsequently opened three retail locations and entered Kohl’s nationwide and through an exclusive partnership in 2022.

Following the deal, Consortium Brand Partners said Draper James products would continue to sell online on the company’s website and at its three retail stores and in Kohl’s.

In the future, the private equity group said, consumers could expect to see Draper James merchandise expand into the big box home improvement space, department stores, pet store chains, and overseas.

“Draper James was inspired by a deep personal connection to my roots, my family, and the women who shaped me. It’s been so amazing to see so many women connect with this brand, our products, and our mission to bring a little southern joy into everyone’s homes and wardrobes,” Witherspoon said in a statement. “We are excited to join forces with the team at Consortium, who understand our vision as a company and the importance of our community.”

The sale of Draper James comes two years after Witherspoon sold her media company, Hello Sunshine, in 2021 for more than $900 million to a media company backed by the private-equity firm Blackstone.

Hello Sunshine was behind several of the actress’ TV projects, such as “Big Little Lies,” “Little Fires Everywhere” and “The Morning Show.” The business also includes Reese’s Book Club. Witherspoon launched the company in 2016 as a joint venture with AT&T.

Research contact: @CNN

Giuliani loses defamation lawsuit brought by two Georgia election workers

August 31, 2023

A federal judge has determined that Rudy Giuliani has forfeited the defamation lawsuit brought by two Georgia election workers against him,—a decision that could lead to significant penalties for Donald Trump’s former personal attorney, reports CNN.

Giuliani lost the case because he struggled to maintain access to his electronic records—partly because of the cost—and couldn’t adequately respond to subpoenas from attorneys for Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss as the case moved forward.

The mother and daughter are asking for unspecified damages after they say they suffered emotional and reputational harm, as well as personal endangerment, after Giuliani singled them out when he made false claims of ballot tampering in Georgia after the 2020 election.

A trial to determine the amount of damages for which Giuliani will be held liable will be set for later this year or early 2024, Judge Beryl Howell of the DC District Court said on Wednesday,  August 30.

The damages could amount to thousands if not millions of dollars.

Giuliani already has been sanctioned almost $90,000 for Freeman’s and Moss’s attorneys’ fees in the case, and Howell says the former New York mayor may be saddled with additional similar sanctions.

Giuliani has been struggling financially, buried under 2020 election legal proceedings, a new criminal case against him in Georgia related to efforts to overturn the election, and other matters. He has pleaded not guilty to the criminal charges in Georgia and has been released from jail on bond.

Late last month, Giuliani conceded that he made defamatory statements about Freeman and Moss and that he didn’t contest their accusations that he had smeared them after the 2020 election.

Giuliani’s statements about them, which Freeman and Moss say are false, included calling them ballot-stuffing criminal conspirators. Giuliani also drew attention to a video of them after the election, which was first posted by the Trump campaign and showed part of a security tape of ballot counting in Atlanta. On social media, his podcast, and other broadcasts, Giuliani said the video showed suitcases filled with ballots, when it did not capture anything but normal ballot processing, according to the defamation lawsuit and a state investigation.

Georgia election officials have debunked Giuliani’s accusations of fraud during the ballot counting.

The mother-daughter duo has been candid about how their lives were impacted by Trump and Giuliani’s claims that they were guilty of election fraud.

“There is nowhere I feel safe. Nowhere. Do you know how it feels to have the president of the United States target you?” Freeman said last year in video testimony to the House select committee that investigated the events surrounding the January 6, 2021, riot at the US Capitol.

Moss said her privacy was destroyed when she learned that Giuliani had accused her mother, Freeman, of passing some kind of USB drive to her like “vials of cocaine or heroin” as part of an elaborate vote-stealing scheme.

In reality, the object in question was a ginger mint.

In his controversial call when he asked Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to find votes to help him overturn his 2020 loss, Trump attacked Moss 18 times, and the former president called Freeman a “professional vote scammer” and a “hustler.”

“I felt horrible. I felt like it was all my fault,” Moss said during her testimony last year. “I just felt like it was, it was my fault for putting my family in this situation.”

She added that she and her mother were afraid to go outside or to the supermarket after getting threats “wishing death upon me, telling me that, you know, I’ll be in jail with my mother and saying things like—‘Be glad it’s 2020 and not 1920.’”

During Giuliani’s disinformation campaign about the vote in Georgia, the FBI recommended Freeman leave her home for her own safety, according to the lawsuit.

Research contact: @CNN

Judge Chutkan says Trump’s right to free speech in January 6 case is ‘not absolute’

August 14, 2023

U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan said on Friday August 11, that she plans to issue a protective order over the handling of evidence in the Trump 2020 election interference case—saying it’s needed to protect witnesses or other interference in the trial, reports CNN.

The former president has a right to free speech, but that right is “not absolute,” the judge said at a hearing on Monday, August 7.

“Mr. Trump, like every American, has a First Amendment right to free speech, but that right is not absolute. In a criminal case such as this one, the defendant’s free speech is subject to the rules,” Chutkan said.

“Without a protective order, a party could release information that could taint the jury pool, intimidate witnesses, or others involved in some aspect of the case, or otherwise interfere with the “process of justice,” she added.

This is the first hearing before Chutkan. According to CNN, she already has shown a habit of responding quickly and tersely on the docket to debates between the parties over scheduling. An Obama appointee and former public defender who has overseen several cases regarding the events of January 6, 2021, Chutkan has been outspoken about the harm the U.S. Capitol attack caused to American democracy.

How Chutkan handles the case is likely to serve as a contrast to U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon, a Trump appointee in Florida who has been in less of a rush to move proceedings along in the classified documents case against the former president. She already has been heavily scrutinized for what critics say is a favorable treatment of the former president in a previous lawsuit Trump brought last year challenging aspects of the Justice Department’s investigation.

Trump pleaded not guilty to four criminal charges related to his efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election last week. The special counsel said on Thursday that he wants the trial to begin on January 2, 2024—a date that the former president’s team is expected to oppose.

Scope of protective order over evidence

In Friday’s hearing, lawyers are debating the scope of a protective order governing evidence that prosecutors say proves Trump conspired to overturn the election, interrupt Congress, and take away every American citizen’s right to have their vote counted.

Protective orders are a normal part of any criminal case and are typically approved without much drama. In this case, however, the special counsel’s office and Trump’s defense lawyers have battled in court filings over what Trump will be able to discuss publicly.

Among the restrictions the prosecutors are requesting in this case is a rule barring Trump’s lawyers from providing copies of “sensitive” evidence to the former president, including witness interviews and grand jury transcripts from the dozens of witnesses in Trump’s circle who have spoken to prosecutors.

To make their point, prosecutors pointed to Trump’s social media posts since he was indicted last week, including a vague and ominous Truth Social post reading “IF YOU GO AFTER ME, I’M COMING AFTER YOU!” Trump also slammed Chutkan, writing in one all caps post, “There is no way I can get a fair trial with the judge ‘assigned’ to the ridiculous freedom of speech/fair elections case. Everybody knows this and so does she!”

The posts, prosecutors said, emphasized the need for a protective order that would limit whether Trump can discuss or share evidence on his social media accounts during the course of the legal case.

“If the defendant were to begin issuing public posts using details—or, for example, grand jury transcripts—obtained in discovery here, it could have a harmful chilling effect on witnesses or adversely affect the fair administration of justice in this case,” prosecutors wrote.

For their part, Trump’s legal team proposed less restrictive rules, alleging that prosecutors are on a politically motivated campaign to restrict his First Amendment rights. His defense lawyers pushed back on prosecutors’ definition of “sensitive” material that should be subject to additional rules, and asked to expand who can access certain evidentiary materials.

If Trump were to violate any eventual protective order Chutkan issues, he could be held in contempt.

Research contact: @CNN

Trump says he won’t sign loyalty pledge required for G.O.P. debate

August 11, 2023

Former President Donald Trump said on Wednesday, August 9, that he was unwilling to meet one of the requirements set by the RNC to participate in the first Republican presidential debate—refusing to sign a pledge to support the eventual nominee, according to a report by The New York Times.

“I wouldn’t sign the pledge,” he said in an interview with the news outlet, Newsmax. “Why would I sign a pledge? There are people on there that I wouldn’t have.”

The decision would seem to rule out the possibility of his participation in the debate on Wednesday, August 23, yet he also said that he would announce next week whether he planned to take part.

Asked for comment on Thursday, the Republican National Committee, which sets the rules, referred to past interviews in which its chairwoman, Ronna McDaniel, has defended the pledge and said the committee will hold everyone to it.

“The rules aren’t changing,” she said on CNN last month. “We’ve been very vocal with them.”

Trump also said in the Newsmax interview that he wasn’t convinced it was worth it for him to debate given how far ahead he is in the primary. A recent New York Times/Siena College poll showed him leading the field by an enormous margin—more than 35 percentage points ahead of his nearest competitor, Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida.

“Why would you do that when you’re leading by so much?” he asked.

Some other Republicans criticized Trump on Thursday, August 10, for his refusal to commit to supporting a nominee other than himself. “Every Republican running for President would be better than Joe Biden,” Governor Brian Kemp of Georgia said on Twitter. “Any candidate who does not commit to supporting the eventual nominee is putting themselves ahead of the future of our country.”

According to the Times, Trump’s vacillation over the pledge is not new; he objected to signing the same loyalty pledge during his first campaign eight years ago. He ultimately did, but then took it back.

That history underscores that the pledge is, in practice, unenforceable. Party leaders can refuse to let a candidate debate for not signing, but they can’t force someone who does sign to actually support another nominee next year.

Research contact: @nytimes

Marjorie Taylor Greene is ousted from conservative House Freedom Caucus

July 10, 2023

The House Freedom Caucus voted to remove Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Georgia) from the conservative group just before the current Congressional recess on Friday June 23, according to Representative Andy Harris (R-Maryland), another member of the caucus, reports USA Today.

“A vote was taken to remove Marjorie Taylor Greene from the House Freedom Caucus for some of the things she’s done,” Harris said on Thursday, July 6, according to multiple reports. The lawmaker added that Greene may no longer be able to attend the group’s meetings.

It marks the first time a member has been ousted from the group. It wasn’t immediately clear whether additional hurdles needed to be cleared for Greene to officially be removed, CNN said.

Former congressman Justin Amash resigned from the House Freedom Caucus in 2019.

As to whether Greene’s support for House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-California), or her support for a debt limit deal this year were factors in the move, Harris said, “I think all of that mattered,” Politico reported.

Harris also appeared to call a confrontation between Greene and Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colorado) in which Greene used an expletive, “the straw that broke the camel’s back.”

USA Today has reached out to Harris’s and Greene’s offices for additional information.

Research contact: @USATODAY

Trump charged in classified documents case, second indictment in months

June 12, 2023

Former president Donald Trump disclosed on Thursday night, June 8, that he had been charged by the Justice Department in connection with the discovery that hundreds of classified documents were shipped to his Mar-a-Lago home after he left the White House—a seismic event in the nation’s political and legal history, reports The Washington Post.

The call from the Justice Department came to his attorneys in the early evening, around 7 p.m., and the former president wanted to announce the indictment himself, two of people familiar with the matter said.

A seven-count indictment has been filed in federal court naming the former president as a criminal defendant, according to confidential informants, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe a case that has yet to be unsealed.

The charges include willful retention of national defense secrets, obstruction of justice, and conspiracy, which carry the potential of years in prison if Trump is found guilty.

Trump, who currently is the front-runner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, will appear in federal court in Miami for an arraignment on Tuesday, June 13, at 3 p.m. (EDT).

The willful retention charge is a violation of a section of the broad Espionage Act, although spying is not among the charges against the former president. It is the second time he has been criminally charged since March, when he was indicted in state court in New York on 34 counts of falsifying business records related to hush money payments from 2016. Trump, who has denied wrongdoing in both cases, is the only former president ever charged with a crime.

I have been indicted, seemingly over the Boxes Hoax,” Trump wrote on the social media site Truth Social. He claimed he was being treated unfairly. “I never thought it possible that such a thing could happen to a former President of the United States,” he said in a lengthy post that ended: “I AM AN INNOCENT MAN!”

A spokesperson for Special Counsel Jack Smith, who has been running the classified-documents investigation, declined to comment.

Trump learned of his indictment while at his club in Bedminster, New Jersey, huddled with advisers, according to multiple people familiar with the situation, who like others interviewed spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss details that had not been publicly released.

His team had expected his indictment and staff already had fundraising pitches, statements and videos ready, according to advisers. He dictated his own Truth Social post within an hour after getting the news. Surrogates also were lined up, advisers said, and a satellite truck was at Bedminster for the legal team to appear.

“Nobody is disappointed that the venue is Miami,” one person said of the legal team’s thinking.

Trump lawyer Jim Trustywhom Reuters reports resigned the morning after the news broke, on Friday, June 9, along with John Rowley, Trump’s other lawyer—took to CNN on Thursday night to defend his client as innocent, while also confirming the charges against the former president. In addition to willful retention, obstruction, and conspiracy, he said Trump was charged with false statements. Trusty said he was not sure when Trump’s legal team would receive the indictment, and was not aware of whether any other individuals connected with the case had also been charged.

The charges cap a high-stakes investigation that began in early 2022 and slowly built steam over the summer, until FBI agents conducted a court-ordered search of Trump’s home and private club in early August that turned up more than 100 classified documents. Trump’s advisers had told the Justice Department in June that they had conducted a diligent search for such papers in response to a subpoena and had handed over all they could find.

In the months since that search, investigators have been gathering evidence to determine whether the former president set out to obstruct law-enforcement efforts to recover the top-secret material that was stashed at Mar-a-Lago.

While the charges will likely test Trump’s staying power as the leader of an increasingly crowded Republican field, the case will also put new strains on the Justice Department and FBI, which must bring to trial a tycoon-turned-politician who has publicly demonized federal law enforcement for years. In preempting any official announcement of the charges, Trump sought to gain the upper hand and blame the Biden Administration.

The White House declined to comment on the indictment Thursday night and referred inquiries to the Justice Department. But earlier Thursday, before Trump announced he had been charged, President Biden  was asked by a reporter what he could say to Americans to “convince them” that they “should trust the independence and fairness of the Justice Department.”

Biden replied that he has “never once, not one single time, suggested to the Justice Department what they should do or not do relative to bringing a charge or not bringing a charge.”

Research contact: @washingtonpost