Posts tagged with "Former President Donald Trump"

Trump says he’d disregard NATO treaty, urge Russian attacks on U.S. allies

February 13, 2024

Former president Donald Trump ramped up his attacks on NATO on Saturday, February 10—claiming he suggested to a foreign leader that he would encourage Russia to do “whatever the hell they want” to member countries that he views as not spending enough on their own defense, reports The Washington Post.

“One of the presidents of a big country stood up and said, ‘Well, sir, if we don’t pay and we’re attacked by Russia, will you protect us?,’” Trump said during a rally at Coastal Carolina University. “I said, ‘You didn’t pay. You’re delinquent.’ He said, ‘Yes, let’s say that happened.’ No, I would not protect you. In fact, I would encourage them to do whatever the hell they want.”

Trump’s remarks come as the GOP is debating whether to provide additional foreign aid to Ukraine, which is fighting a war with Russia after being invaded by Moscow in 2022. The Senate is considering legislation that would give $60 billion to Ukraine. House Republicans, however, have echoed Trump’s skepticism about doing so.

Trump has long been a fierce critic of U.S. participation in the alliance—frequently hammering European countries on their share of defense spending—and he appeared to be referring to indirect funding as part of participation in the alliance.

Since 2006, each NATO member has had a guideline of spending at least 2% of its gross domestic product on defense spending by 2024.

NATO countries were already increasing their funding substantially before Trump’s presidency, following Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014. More than half had met or come close to that goal, as of 2023, and many member countries have increased their spending in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Under Article 5, if a NATO ally is attacked, other member countries of NATO consider it “an armed attack against all members and will take the actions it deems necessary to assist the Ally attacked.” Since NATO’s founding in 1949, the clause has been invoked only once: On Sept. 12, 2001, after the terrorist attacks in the United States the day before.

Several NATO partnership experts described Trump’s understanding of the financial obligations of NATO member countries as inaccurate and argued that his opposition to collective security as a member nation is misplaced.

“NATO isn’t a pay-to-play setup, as Trump seems to think. It’s an alliance that is first and foremost about U.S. national security interests to prevent another world war originating in Europe,” said Alina Polyakova, president and CEO of the Center for European Policy Analysis, in an email to the Post.

She added, “The U.S. investment in NATO is worth every dollar—the only time that the Article 5 collective defense clause was initiated was in response to 9/11. Our allies came to our aid then, and it would be shameful and misguided to not do the same.”

In May 2017, Trump initially did not affirm the United States’ commitment to Article 5, but then reversed course two weeks later. Trump broadly has expressed skepticism about NATO. His campaign website states: “We have to finish the process we began under my Administration of fundamentally reevaluating NATO’s purpose and NATO’s mission.”

The New York Times reported in 2019 that Trump discussed withdrawing from NATO. While he was in office, Trump repeatedly tried to claim credit for making NATO countries pay more, claiming that “hundreds of billions” of dollars came to NATO as a result of his complaints about other countries as “delinquent” members.

Daniel Fried, a former assistant secretary of state for European Affairs and fellow at the Atlantic Council, said of Trump: “He seems to prefer a world based on pure power where other countries, where the United States intimidates or threatens other countries. The trouble with that is when we need them, those other countries won’t be there.”

“Encouraging invasions of our closest allies by murderous regimes is appalling and unhinged—and it endangers American national security, global stability, and our economy at home,” White House spokesperson Andrew Bates said in a statement.

Research contact: @washingtonpost

Appeals court judges are skeptical of Trump’s immunity appeal in election interference case

January 10, 2024

On Tuesday, January 9, federal appeals court judges questioned former President Donald Trump’s broad claim of immunity from prosecution for his efforts to overturn the 2020 election, which resulted in a chain of events that culminated in the January 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol, reports NBC News.

The all-woman three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said nothing to suggest they would embrace Trump’s immunity argument, although they raised several options on how they could rule.

The court could issue a ruling that decisively resolves the immunity question, allowing the trial to move quickly forward, or alight on a more narrow ruling that could leave some issues unresolved. They also could simply rule that Trump had no right to bring an appeal at this stage of the litigation.

Trump arrived at the federal courthouse in Washington, D.C., a few minutes before oral arguments began at 9:30 a.m. and sat at his lawyers’ table. He was mostly muted during his lawyers’ presentation, but grew flustered at points when the prosecution’s lawyer was speaking. He could be seen passing notes to his lawyers on a yellow legal pad.

Special Counsel Jack Smith also was present at the hearing, which lasted for a little over an hour.

The case is one of four criminal prosecutions Trump faces as he fights on multiple legal fronts while remaining the presumptive front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination.

With Trump running for office again, whether the Washington trial originally scheduled for March can take place ahead of the election continues to hang in the balance. Smith has asked the court to move quickly—a bid to keep the trial on schedule.

The appeals court is hearing the case on an expedited schedule, so a ruling could come quickly, possibly in time to allow Trump’s trial to begin as scheduled.

Judge Florence Pan immediately peppered Trump’s lawyer with hypothetical situations in which, under Trump’s theory, presidents could not be prosecuted.

Could a president, she asked, be prosecuted for selling pardons or military secrets, or by ordering the assassination of a political opponent?

“I understand your position to be that a president is immune from criminal prosecution for any official act that he takes as president even if that action is taken for an unlawful or unconstitutional purpose, is that correct?” Pan said.

Trump’s lawyer, D. John Sauer responded that such a prosecution can only take place if the president is impeached and convicted by the Senate first.

The position taken by prosecutors “would authorize for example, the indictment of President Biden in the Western District of Texas after he leaves office for mismanaging the border allegedly,” Sauer added.

Judge Karen Henderson cited another part of the Constitution—a provision that outlines that the president has a duty to ensure that laws are faithfully executed.

“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,” she said.

Later in the argument, Henderson expressed concern that a ruling saying the president does not have immunity would lead to politically-driven prosecutions of future presidents.

“How do we write an opinion that would stop the flood gates?’ she said.

The Justice Department has previously acknowledged that “criminal liability would be unavoidably political,” she added.

The Trump investigation “doesn’t reflect that we are going to see a sea change of vindictive tit for tat prosecutions in the future,” said James Pearce, the lawyer arguing on behalf of Smith.

“Never before have there been allegations that a sitting president has with private individuals and using the levers of power sought to fundamentally subvert the Democratic Republic and the electoral system,” he added.

Trump on Monday suggested that if the court does not rule in his favor and he wins the presidential election, he would have President Joe Biden indicted.

Whatever happens, the losing party is likely to immediately appeal to the Supreme Court. The justices would then face a decision on whether to take up the case and issue their own ruling, potentially also on a fast-tracked basis.

Trump’s appeal arises from the four-count indictment in Washington including charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States and conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding. Trump has pleaded not guilty.

U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan in December denied Trump’s attempt to dismiss the indictment on presidential immunity and other constitutional grounds. The case is on hold while the appeals process plays out.

Research contact: @NBCNews

Congress approves bill barring any president from unilaterally withdrawing from NATO

Decembr 18, 2023

Congress has approved legislation that would prevent any president from withdrawing the United States from NATO without approval from the Senate or an Act of Congress, reports The Hill.

The measure, spearheaded by Senators Tim Kaine (D-Virginia) and Marco Rubio (R-Florida), was included in the annual National Defense Authorization Act, which passed out of the House on Thursday, December 14, and is expected to be signed by President Joe Biden.

The provision underscores Congress’s commitment to the NATO alliance—which was a target of former President Donald Trump’s ire during his term in office. The alliance has taken on revitalized importance under Biden, especially since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

“NATO has held strong in response to [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s war in Ukraine and rising challenges around the world,” Kaine said in a statement.

He added that the legislation “reaffirms U.S. support for this crucial alliance that is foundational for our national security. It also sends a strong message to authoritarians around the world that the free world remains united.”

Rubio said the measure served as a critical tool for congressional oversight. “We must ensure we are protecting our national interests and protecting the security of our democratic allies,” he said in a statement.

Biden has invested deeply in the NATO alliance during his term, committing more troops and military resources to Europe as a show of force against Putin’s war. He also has overseen the expansion of the alliance, with the inclusion of Finland and ongoing efforts to secure Sweden’s full accession.

Trump, the front-runner for the GOP presidential nomination, has sent mixed messages on the alliance ahead of 2024. The former president’s advocates say his tough talk and criticisms of the alliance served to inspire member-states to fulfill their obligations to reach 2% of defense spending, easing the burden on the United States.

But Trump’s critics say the former president’s rhetoric weakens the unity and force of purpose of the alliance. And they expressed concerns that Trump would abandon the U.S. commitment to the mutual defense pact of the alliance—or withdraw America completely.

Research contact: @thehill

Trump targets wife of New York judge overseeing civil fraud trial

December 1, 2023

The wife of the New York judge overseeing Donald Trump’s ongoing civil fraud trial is the latest target of the former president’s rage online, reports The Hill.

Trump took aim at Judge Arthur Engoron’s spouse in a series of posts on Tuesday afternoon, November 28, purporting that an account on X— formerly Twitter—that made several anti-Trump posts belongs to her.

The posts by “Dawn Marie,” which were first unearthed by conservative activist Laura Loomer, say Trump is “headed to the big house,” referring to prison, and remark on his ongoing trial. Two posts show what appears to be AI illustrations of the former president in an orange jumpsuit, and another depicts him as the Wicked Witch of the West from “The Wizard of Oz.”

“Judge Engoron’s Trump Hating wife, together with his very disturbed and angry law clerk, have taken over control of the New York State Witch Hunt Trial aimed at me, my family, and the Republican Party,” Trump wrote Wednesday, November 29, in a Truth Social post.

The Hill could not independently verify that the X account making anti-Trump posts belonged to the judge’s wife. The account appeared to be deactivated at the time of publication.

On a school alumni page run by Engoron, the judge previously wrote that his wife is a psychoanalyst named Dawn. The Hill attempted to reach her via numerous platforms, but she did not immediately return requests for comment.

The judge’s wife previously told Newsweek that the X account does not belong to her.

“I do not have a Twitter account. This is not me. I have not posted any anti Trump messages,” Dawn Engoron said.

Engoron and his principal law clerk have been frequent targets of the former president throughout his fraud trial.

The judge found Trump, the Trump Organization and several executives—including the former president’s adult sons—liable for fraud before the trial even began, ruling that New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) had proved the crux of her case that claims the Trumps falsely inflated and deflated the value of their business’s assets to receive lower taxes and better insurance coverage.

That ruling, plus Engoron’s interactive role in the bench trial, has placed him directly in Trump’s line of fire both in court and on social media.

When Trump testified earlier this month, he took shots at Engoron numerous times, calling him “Trump hating” and questioning his impartiality.

“Can you control your client?” Engoron asked Trump’s counsel at the time. “This is not a political rally.”

Trump’s attacks against the judge’s clerk resulted in a limited gag order issued against the former president and his attorneys—barring them from speaking about the judge’s staff. Trump previously testified that he thinks the clerk is “very biased against us.” The order is temporarily paused while it is being considered by an appeals court.

The purported bias of the trial judge and his principal law clerk against Trump was the basis for a mistrial motion earlier this month, asserting the pair have “tainted” the case. Trump’s legal team argued that the appearance of bias “threatens both Defendants’ rights and the integrity of the judiciary as an institution.”

Engoron denied the motion earlier this month, describing it as “utterly without merit.”

Research contact: @thehill

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

Ruling against Trump cuts to the heart of his identity

September 28, 2023

Nearly every aspect of former President Donald Trump’s life and career has been under scrutiny from the justice system over the past several years, leaving him under criminal indictment in four jurisdictions, reports The New York Times.

But a ruling on Tuesday by a New York State judge that Trump had committed fraud by inflating the value of his real estate holdings went to the heart of the identity that made him a national figure and launched his political career, the Times says.

By effectively branding him a cheat, the decision in the civil proceeding by Justice Arthur F. Engoron of the Supreme Court 1st Judicial District in New York undermined Trump’s relentlessly promoted narrative of himself as a master of the business world—the persona that he used to enmesh himself in the fabric of popular culture and that eventually gave him the stature and resources to reach the White House.

The ruling was the latest remarkable development to test the resilience of Trump’s appeal as he seeks to win election again despite the weight of evidence against him in cases spanning his years as a New York developer, his 2016 campaign, his efforts to overturn his 2020 election loss, and his handling of national security secrets after leaving office.

The federal case accusing him of plotting to retain power despite his defeat at the polls three years ago paints him as a threat to democracy, as does a similar prosecution in Georgia. The classified documents case portrays him as willing to obstruct justice to cover up a reckless disregard for the laws that govern the handling of such documents. A New York prosecution stemming from hush-money payments to a porn star in the closing stages of the 2016 election sets out evidence of the kind of political skullduggery he professes to want to eradicate from Washington, D.C.

So far none of those cases has discernibly hurt Mr. Trump’s campaign in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, which polls suggest he is leading by large margins. In fact, polls show the indictments have consolidated his support among Republicans. The prosecutions have helped his fund-raising.

Whether the effect of Justice Engoron’s ruling is any different remains to be seen. But his finding imperils both Trump’s public image and his business empire. The former president now faces not only the prospect of having to pay $250 million in damages, but he could also lose properties like Trump Tower that are inextricably linked to his brand.

anTrump’s lawyer in the case, Christopher Kise, called the ruling “outrageous” and said the decision would be appealed. He called it “completely disconnected from the facts and governing law.”

The decision seeks to nationalize one of the most successful corporate empires in the United States and seize control of private property—all while acknowledging there is zero evidence of any default, breach, late payment or any complaint of harm,” Kise said.

Trump, himself, in a lengthy post on his social media site, called the statements in the ruling about fraud “ridiculous and untrue,” and said the decision was a political attack against him in the midst of the presidential campaign.

In all of Trump’s recent legal travails, his typical tactics for self-preservation have largely failed him. When cornered, Mr. Trump has traditionally sought to bluster his way out of trouble—falling back on exaggerations or outright lies to escape.

These methods have served him well in the business and political arenas, where there is often little price to pay for bending the truth and where voters tend not to distinguish between gradations of prevarications. However, they have been much less effective so far in the courts, which operate according to strict standards of veracity and staid and sober rules.

In straightforward terms, Justice Engoron punctured Trump’s bubble of protective falsehoods about the way he conducted his business: “In defendants’ world,” Justice Engoron wrote, “rent-regulated apartments are the same as unregulated apartments; restricted land is worth the same as unrestricted land; restrictions can evaporate into thin air.

“That is a fantasy world,” the judge went on, “not the real world.”

Trump’s other weapon of choice—bullying his adversaries—has not fared much better in the courts. This month, federal prosecutors asked the judge overseeing his federal election interference case to impose a gag order on him, citing his “near daily” social media attacks on people involved in the proceeding and the threats they were generating.

Trump blew past an early warning from the judge in that case, Tanya S. Chutkan, to be mindful about what he said concerning the witnesses, prosecutors, and potential jurors in the case. But if he thought he could simply muscle through the judge’s admonition, prosecutors called his bluff.

Now, the Times reports, Trump has placed himself on what could be a collision course with the judge that could result in his public statements being curbed in the middle of his presidential campaign.

Trump is being constrained by the very system he often uses to try to stymie opposition: the courts. In the last two years, Trump has filed a blizzard of legal actions against news networks, political critics, and even the Pulitzer Prize committee. Several of those cases have been dismissed.

But Justice Engoron’s decision hinted at a trait that has long defined Trump’s personality and approach to doing business. He has always sought to create his own reality, often getting away with it— up to a point.

In a 2006 lawsuit that Trump filed against the journalist Timothy O’Brien, the author of the book “TrumpNation: The Art of Being The Donald,” which estimated that Trump’s net worth was no greater than $250 million, the future president sat for a deposition and made a surprising statement about how he calculates the value of his holdings.

“My net worth fluctuates, and it goes up and down with the markets and with attitudes and with feelings—even my own feelings, but I try,” Trump said.

A judge ultimately dismissed his suit.

Research contact: @nytimes

Trump tells gun store he’d like to buy a Glock, raising legal questions

September 27, 2023

Officials have increasingly voiced concerns about threats of violence related to the former President Donald Trump’s trials, as he faces charges that would make it illegal for a store to sell him a firearm, reports The New York Times.

A spokesperson for Trump posted a video on Monday, September 25—showing him at a gun shop in South Carolina and (falsely) declaring that he had just bought a Glock pistol.

The post on X, formerly known as Twitter, included video of Trump, who is facing four criminal indictments. He looked over the dullish gold firearm, a special Trump-edition Glock that depicts his likeness and says “Trump 45th,” as he visited the Palmetto State Armory outlet in Summerville, South Carolina. “I want to buy one,” he said twice in the video.

“President Trump buys a @GLOCKInc in South Carolina!” his spokesperson, Steven Cheung, wrote in his post. The video showed Trump among a small crowd of people and posing with a man holding the gun. A voice can be heard saying, “That’s a big seller.”

The statement immediately set off an uproar and prompted questions about whether such a purchase would be legal. Trump is under indictment on dozens of felony counts in two different cases related to his efforts to reverse the results of the 2020 election and to his possession of reams of classified documents after he left office.

There were also questions about whether the store could sell a firearm to Trump, if people there knew that he was under indictment.

Federal prosecutors are asking a federal judge in the case that accuses Trump of breaking several laws in his efforts to stay in office to impose a limited gag order after he made repeated threats against prosecutors and witnesses in various cases against him. Trump’s lawyers were under a late-Monday-night deadline to respond to the government’s request for the order.

But within two hours of the initial post on social media, spokesperson Steven Cheung deleted his post, and issued a statement saying, “President Trump did not purchase or take possession of the firearm. He simply indicated that he wanted one.”

A man who answered a phone registered to the shop’s owner hung up when a reporter called. A salesperson at the Summerville location, who declined to give her name or answer additional questions, said Trump had not bought a gun.

Trump has increasingly been faulted by prosecutors, security experts, and others for his language on his social media site, Truth Social, in relation to his trials.

At the Federal Bureau of Investigation, for instance, officials have increasingly voiced concerns about threats of violence, as Trump and his allies have targeted the agency.

Under the main federal gun law, 18 U.S.C. 922, it is illegal for merchants to sell firearms to people who are under indictment for crimes carrying sentences of more than a year. Indicted defendants also are barred from shipping or receiving any weapons that have crossed state lines. But the statute does not appear to prohibit people under indictment from simply buying or possessing weapons.

Research contact: @nytimes

Trump has been privately encouraging G.O.P. lawmakers to impeach Biden

September 13, 2023

On a sweeping patio overlooking the golf course at his private club in Bedminster, New Jersey, former President Donald Trump dined Sunday night with a close political ally, Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Georgia), reports The New York Times.  

Over halibut and Diet Cokes, Greene brought up an issue of considerable interest to Mr. Trump—the push by House Republicans to impeach his likely opponent in next year’s election.

“I did brief him on the strategy that I want to see laid out with impeachment,” Greene said in a brief phone interview with the Times.

Trump’s dinner with Greene came just two nights before House Speaker Kevin McCarthy announced his decision on Tuesday, September 12, to order the opening of an impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden, under intense pressure from his right flank.

Over the past several months, Trump has kept a close watch on House Republicans’ momentum towards impeaching Biden. Trump has talked regularly by phone with members of the ultraconservative House Freedom Caucus and other congressional Republicans who pushed for impeachment, according to a person close to the former president who was not authorized to publicly discuss the conversations. Trump has encouraged the effort both privately and publicly.

Greene, who has introduced articles of impeachment against Biden, said she told Trump that she wanted the impeachment inquiry to be “long and excruciatingly painful for Joe Biden.”

She would not say what Trump said in response, but she said her ultimate goal was to have a “long list of names”—people whom she claimed were co-conspirators involved in Biden family crimes. She said she was confident Trump would win back the White House in 2024 and that she wanted “to go after every single one of them and use the Department of Justice to prosecute them.”

A person familiar with Trump’s thinking said that, despite his eagerness to see an inquiry move forward, the former president has not been twisting McCarthy’s arm. Trump has been far more aggressive in pushing several members to wipe his own impeachment record clean, the person said—potentially by getting Congress to take the unprecedented step of expunging his two impeachments from the House record.

Trump has not been expressing concern about the possibility that the McCarthy impeachment effort might backfire and benefit Biden, according to two people with direct knowledge of his private statements over several months. Instead, he wondered to an ally why there had been no movement on impeaching Biden once he learned that the House was back in session.

When asked for comment, Trump’s communications director, Steven Cheung, pointed to the former president’s public statements about impeaching Biden. The former president’s public commentary on the possibility of a Biden impeachment has escalated from wistful musings about the Justice Department’s supposed inaction to explicit demands.

“They persecuted us and yet Joe Biden is a stone-cold criminal, caught dead to right, and nothing happens to him. Forget the family. Nothing happens to him,” the former president said at a rally in March.

Research contact: @nytimes

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

Trump’s historic mug shot released in Georgia election case

August 28, 2023

Inmate No. P01135809—that’s how former President Donald Trump of Palm Beach, Florida, is listed in the jail records of Fulton County, Georgia, following Thursday night’s 20-minute booking, reports Axios.

Trump has now made history as not only the first U.S. president—sitting or former —to face criminal charges, but the first to have his mug shot taken.

The Fulton County Sheriff’s Office released the first-ever mug shot of former Trump following his surrender to authorities in the Georgia election interference case.

Although it’s Trump’s fourth indictment, he managed to dodge taking mug shots in the other cases. But Fulton County Sheriff Pat Labat warned ahead of the Georgia indictment that authorities there intended to follow regular procedures when it came time to book the former president.

Trump described himself as 6 foot, 3 inches and 215 pounds—24 pounds less than the White House doctor reported in 2018. He’s listed as having blue eyes, and blond or strawberry hair.

Moments after his mug shot was taken on Thursday, August 24, Trump posted the image to his Truth Social platform, along with a fund-raising link.

Later, the 2024 Republican presidential frontrunner shared the mug shot and a link to his website on X, formerly known as Twitter, in his first post to the platform in more than two years.

Trump told Newsmax in an interview aboard his private plane on the way back from his booking that it been a “terrible experience,” but added that he was “treated very nicely.”

He told Fox News Digital late Thursday that Georgia officials had “insisted on a mug shot and I agreed to do that,” which he said was “not a comfortable feeling—especially when you’ve done nothing wrong.”

The notorious Fulton County Jail, where Trump’s mug shot was taken, also has now made history as the first institution to ever take a U.S. president’s mug shot.

The detention center, known among locals as “Rice Street,” has been criticized for its dangerous conditions and detainee deaths.

Trump faces a total of 13 counts related to alleged efforts to subvert Georgia’s 2020 election results, including violating Georgia’s racketeering law, or RICO.

Trump’s bail was set at $200,000 earlier in the week, adding to his already considerable legal fees.

Trump’s Georgia trial is also the first one in which he is defendant that could be televised.

Research contact: @axios