Trump awaits fate of business empire in New York civil fraud trial: Live updates

E Jean Carroll vows to give $83m defamation damages to ‘something Trump hates’

The Illinois Board of Elections will not remove Donald Trump from the 2024 Republican presidential primary ballot, unanimously agreeing that they lack the jurisdiction to weigh in on his eligibility under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment of the Constitution which says those who took part in an insurrection may not hold office.

The US Supreme Court is expected to rule on the issue soon.

Meanwhile, the former president is awaiting the outcome of his civil fraud trial in New York, and his lawyers have reacted angrily to a report by a court-appointed monitor overseeing his businesses that alleged their financial disclosures are “either incomplete, present results

Former judge Barbara Jones alleges that the ex-president not only repeatedly lied about his net worth and assets, as alleged by state attorney general Letitia James, but that a major $48m loan for one of his properties is may have never actually existed.

Mr Trump has also been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Republican lawmaker Claudia Tenney in recognition of the Abraham Accords. The submission comes during heightened tensions in the Middle East and in the wake of the deaths of three US soldiers in a drone strike.


Trump PACs spent approximately $50m on legal expenses in 2023

In a year in which he was indicted four times on criminal charges, Donald Trump used approximately $50m of donor money on investigation and legal expenses, The New York Times reports.

Citing two people briefed on the figure, the Times notes that the exact figure for 2023 will be reported on Wednesday in new filings submitted to the Federal Election Commission.

The spending on legal fees is roughly equal to the amount Nikki Haley, his only rival for the Republican nomination, raised across all of her campaign committees in 2023.

The Trump campaign did not respond to multiple requests for comment, the Times says.

Oliver O’Connell30 January 2024 19:39


Even Fox News wants Trump to be quiet

“The whole point of this, this enormous damages, unprecedented damages now, is to tell Donald Trump to shut up,” Mr Yoo said.

Martha McHardy has the story:

Oliver O’Connell30 January 2024 19:30


RFK Jr claims Trump approached him to be running mate

A report in the New York Post over the weekend stated that the Trump team had tapped Mr Kennedy in April 2023 to be on the presidential ticket, and that despite the approach going nowhere “anything” was still possible, citing anonymous sources.

Oliver O’Connell30 January 2024 19:00


E Jean Carroll lawyer threatens Alina Habba with ‘sanctions’ for ‘false accusations’ over history with judge


Donald Trump’s lawyer Alina Habba this week attempted to get the verdict in the E Jean Carroll defamation case dismissed over a baseless attack on the plaintiff’s lawyer Roberta Kaplan. In a letter to Judge Lewis Kaplan (no relation), Ms Habba claimed there had been a mentor-like relationship between the two in the past.

Ms Kaplan has now fired back a response in a letter to the judge, saying in part:

We write in response to the letter submitted yesterday by Alina Habba on behalf of her client Defendant Donald J. Trump, which contains false allegations of a “mentor-mentee relationship” between Your Honor and myself dating back to the brief period in which we overlapped at Paul, Weiss more than thirty years ago. As Ms. Habba well knows, these allegations are utterly baseless.

E Jean Carroll (l) with her attorney, Roberta Kaplan (r) as they leave court following a jury’s decision to award Ms Carroll $83.3m in damages in her defamation case against Donald Trump


Attacking the motives for pursuing the allegations, Ms Kaplan further wrote:

From the very start of the recently concluded trial, Donald Trump and Ms. Habba have pushed a false narrative of judicial bias so that they could characterize any jury verdict against Trump as the product of a corrupt system. While that strategy has now moved into its post-verdict phase, it is now time for Defendant’s false and vexatious claims of bias or impropriety to stop.

She concluded with a threat to take further action against Ms Habba:

Here’s Ms Carroll and her lawyers on speaking to Rachel Maddow on MSNBC about Ms Habba:

E Jean Carroll’s team describes Trump lawyer Alina Habba’s courtroom behavior

Oliver O’Connell30 January 2024 18:30


ICYMI: IRS contractor who stole and leaked Trump tax records sentenced to five years in prison

His plea agreement states that he stole Mr Trump’s tax returns as well as the tax information of “thousands of the nation’s wealthiest people”. At the time, he was working for a consulting firm with IRS contracts.

Mr Littlejohn shared the tax information with two news outlets and subsequently deleted the documents from his laptop, which had been issued by the IRS, before handing it back. He also removed the places where he had previously stored the information to remove any traces, CNN noted.

Oliver O’Connell30 January 2024 18:00


Full story: Trump will remain on Illinois primary ballot after 14th Amendment challenge

Donald Trump will remain on Illinois’ 2024 presidential primary ballot, the state’s Board of Elections determined in a unanimous vote to dismiss a complaint that attempted to remove the former president under the 14th Amendment.

However, the Illinois Board of Election said that they did not believe they had the authority to determine Mr Trump’s eligibility because it raises a constitutional question and would require them to look outside their scope.

Ariana Baio watched the meeting for The Independent:

Oliver O’Connell30 January 2024 17:21


US and China launch talks on fentanyl trafficking

American and Chinese officials met Tuesday to discuss joint efforts to stem the flow of fentanyl into the U.S., a sign of cooperation as the two global powers try to manage their contentious ties.

The two-day meeting was the first for a new counternarcotics working group. One focus of the talks was fentanyl, the synthetic opioid that is ravaging America, and in particular ingredients for the drug that are made in China.

Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to restart cooperation in a handful of areas, including drug trafficking, when he and U.S. President Joe Biden met outside San Francisco in November. The agreements were a small step forward in a relationship strained by major differences on issues ranging from trade and technology to Taiwan and human rights.

The U.S. wants China to do more to curb the export of chemicals that it says are processed into fentanyl, largely in Mexico, before the final product is smuggled into the United States.

Chinese Public Security Minister Wang Xiaohong said the two sides had in-depth and pragmatic talks.

Oliver O’Connell30 January 2024 17:00


Watch: Biden says he’s ‘fine’ with Trump on ballot

While we await the decision of the Illinois Board of Elections as to whether Donald Trump should be allowed on the Republican primary ballot in the state given Section Three of the 14th Amendment banning insurrectionists from holding public office, President Joe Biden told reporters on the South Lawn of the White House that he was fine with the former president ending up as his potential opponent again in November.

Oliver O’Connell30 January 2024 16:39


ICYMI: Trump ties himself in knots on US-Mexico border in brazen political move

Former president Donald Trump is falsely claiming to have stopped all movement between the US and Mexico in a bid to push lawmakers to scuttle a bipartisan proposal to increase President Joe Biden’s power to curb illegal crossings.

Mr Trump took to his Truth Social platform on Monday to claim that he had not needed what he described as a “big, complex Democrat-oriented Border Bill” to stop crossings between the US and Mexico during his administration.

Andrew Feinberg reports from Washington, DC:

Oliver O’Connell30 January 2024 16:20


Key House Republican accepts White House offer to review unredacted Jan 6 committee testimony

Rep Barry Loudermilk, Republican chairman of the House Administration Committee’s Oversight Subcommittee, has accepted an officer from the White House to review unredacted January 6 committee transcripts of four Trump White House aides that provided key testimony about the former president’s conduct on that day.

The transcripts do not include certain key transcripts — such as Bobby Engel or Tony Ornato’s interviews — which are being held by the Department of Homeland Security. However, they do include four White House employees who were identified anonymously in the January 6 report.

Rep Loudermilk said in a statement: “While the White House granting access to these transcripts is a step in the right direction, I maintain these are House records and they should be returned in full.”

Oliver O’Connell30 January 2024 16:14

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