Trump scheduled to meet with Mike Johnson in Mar-a-Lago amid looming threats to speaker’s position: Live updates

Donald Trump says states should choose their own abortion laws

Donald Trump is expected to give a press conference at his Mar-a-Lago on election integrity with House Speaker Mike Johnson making a visit.

“Election integrity” is a phrase that Trump often uses to describe the lie that the 2020 election was rigged and unfounded concerns about future mass voter fraud. It comes as Johnson faces an ongoing threat to his job from Marjorie Taylor Greene, the Georgia Republican firebrand.

Trump has lost three last-ditch bids in three days to delay his hush money trial – with the landmark case looming in a matter of days.

On Wednesday, a New York appeals court judge rejected his latest effort to stall the case based on arguments of New York Justice Juan Merchan’s “refusal” to recuse himself or to hear Mr Trump’s argument of “presidential immunity”.

Jury selection is set to begin on Monday 15 April.

Meanwhile, Judge Aileen Cannon, overseeing Mr Trump’s criminal case over his alleged mishandling of classified documents, has sided with special counsel Jack Smith’s office and agreed that the names of government witnesses in the case should remain secret, due to concerns for their safe


Coming up today: Speaker Johnson heads to Mar-a-Lago for ‘election integrity’ event with Trump

Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson will join Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago for a “joint announcement on election integrity” on Friday, according to the Louisiana congressman’s campaign.

GOP officials have promoted so-called “election integrity” legislation in the wake of the 2020 elections, echoing many of the false claims promoted by Mr Trump and his allies in his ongoing attempts to undermine the outcome and discredit election officials and policies that certified his loss.

USA Today reported on Thursday that the vent at Mar-a-Lago will focus on the unveiling of a bill to prevent non-citizens from voting in federal elections.

Johnson will hold a joint press conference with Trump on Friday at the former president’s Mar-a-Lago residence, where the top House Republican will tout the legislation to “elevate the issue of non-citizens voting in federal elections,” according to a person familiar with the planning.

Non-citizens are already not allowed to vote in federal elections in the United States, and it’s not a common occurrence.

As noted in “Unauthorized Immigrants: Frequently Asked Questions”, published by the Congressional Research Service on 10 August 2022, which states:

All non-U.S. citizens, including unauthorized immigrants, are ineligible to vote in federal elections. The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (P.L. 104- 208, Division C, §216) introduced criminal penalties for noncitizens who vote in federal elections. The law specifies that noncitizens may vote in non-federal elections as authorized by states and localities. Some localities have permitted noncitizens to vote in local elections.

Oliver O’Connell12 April 2024 12:45


Second Trump super PAC has $27m in cash after Mar-a-Lago dinner, official says

The New York Times reports that a new super PAC supporting Donald Trump has $27m in cash on hand, according to an official with the group.

“Right for America” raised $13.05m during the first fund-raising quarter of the year, the official said. An additional $12m was raised in connection with at an event at Mar-a-Lago, and $2m more was raised this month.

“We are thrilled by the support we have gotten in the few weeks we have been around,” said Lee Rizzuto, Right for America’s treasurer. “We look forward to doing our part in making sure Donald Trump is returned to the White House.”

The biggest donor to the group is Isaac Perlmutter, the former Marvel Entertainment chief executive who along with his wife, Laura, donated $10m, the Times reports citing a person familiar with the amount.

The Mar-a-Lago event was held on Tuesday night and was a dinner of approximately 25 people attended by Kimberly Guilfoyle, the fiancée of Donald Trump Jr. Another fund-raising dinner is planned soon.

It is not expected that the group will start spending until closer to the general election in November.

The group is led by Sergio Gor, a longtime Trump associate who has published Mr Trump’s two post-White House books.

It is the second super PAC supporting Mr. Trump after Make America Great Again Inc.

Oliver O’Connell12 April 2024 12:15


Hush money trial: Trump tests limits of gag order (again)

Days after a New York judge expanded a gag order on Donald Trump to curtail “inflammatory” speech, the former president tested its limits by disparaging two key witnesses in his upcoming criminal hush money trial as liars.

In a post on his Truth Social platform Wednesday, Trump called his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, and the adult film actor Stormy Daniels “two sleaze bags who have, with their lies and misrepresentations, cost our Country dearly!”

In an order first made in March, and then revised on April 1, Judge Juan Merchan barred Trump from making public statements about probable trial witnesses “concerning their potential participation in the investigation or in this criminal proceeding.”


Trump Jan 6 case judge scoffs at right-wing claim jailed Capitol rioters are ‘hostages’

The judge overseeing former President Donald Trump’s election interference case has rejected the notion that jailed defendants charged with some of the most violent crimes of the US Capitol riot are “hostages”

It is the label Trump and his allies have frequently used to describe the prisoners.

US District Judge Tanya Chutkan said the Capitol riot defendants who remain jailed in Washington, DC, don’t deserve to be called hostages or heroes for their actions during the mob’s attack on 6 January 2021.

Oliver O’Connell12 April 2024 10:45


Biden: Trump has ‘death grip’ on Republicans and is ‘primary threat’ to democracy

Oliver O’Connell12 April 2024 09:45


Analysis: Trump is targeting Latino voters. Here’s how Biden seeks to win them back

A new Axios/Ipsos poll released on Tuesday showed that just 41 per cent of Latinos have a favorable view of Biden. That number is slightly higher than Trump, who has an approval of 32 per cent among Latinos. Nevertheless, the devil is in the detail: Biden’s favorability rating has gone downward, while Trump’s has improved. In June of last year, Biden had a 47 per cent approval rating while Mr Trump came in low at 29 per cent.

Such numbers must be disappointing to the Biden campaign, considering officials have invested early and heavily in Latino outreach during this election cycle. The campaign has recently run ads not only in Spanish but in Spanglish.

Oliver O’Connell12 April 2024 06:45


Special counsel urges SCOTUS to reject Trump’s immunity claim

Special counsel Jack Smith has urged the US Supreme Court to reject Donald Trump’s “unprecedented” claim that presidential immunity protects him from facing federal charges for trying to overturn the 2020 election.

In a 66-page legal filing on Monday, the special counsel’s office wrote that “a bedrock principle of our constitutional order is that no person is above the law — including the president”.

Josh Marcus has the details…

Oliver O’Connell12 April 2024 04:45


MTG’s ‘attention’ seeking threats to Johnson are starting to get old for Trump and Republicans

Oliver O’Connell12 April 2024 03:45


Hush money trial: Read the jury questionnaire in full

“The Court has closely scrutinized all of the proposed questions submitted by both parties, including those which the parties have agreed to. Guided by settled legal authority… the Court has modified some questions and excluded others. The resulting questionnaire is broad and exhaustive,” the judge wrote.

The questionnaire, which begins on page 11 of the 17-page document, includes 42 questions, as well as several sub-questions, such as if a prospective juror is a Democrat or a Republican, or if they’re a member of the Proud Boys, the QAnon movement, or Antifa.

Jury selection is set to begin on Monday 15 April.

Oliver O’Connell12 April 2024 02:45


Proud Boys, QAnon and Michael Cohen: What will potential hush money jurors be asked?

What do you do for a living? Are you married? Have you ever considered yourself a supporter of or belonged to the QAnon movement or the Proud Boys?

Oliver O’Connell12 April 2024 01:45

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