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Trump trial updates: Trump says he didn’t testify at hush money trial because of ‘my past’

‘No case, no crime’: Donald Trump rants to media ahead of latest court date on Tuesday 21 May 2024

Donald Trump has offered a garbled explanation as to why he ultimately declined to testify at his New York hush money trial, citing his “past” and telling a conservative radio host that he feared political bias against him, also coming close to breaking his gag order in the same interview by criticising Manhattan prosecutor Matthew Colangelo.

Later on Thursday, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee will host his latest 2024 campaign rally in Crotona Park in New York City’s South Bronx, the first time that he has rallied in his hometown for eight years.

Mr Trump trailed the event on his Truth Social platform by pledging to “Make New York Great Again!!!” and promising: “Far Lower Taxes, Safe, Jobs, Jobs, Jobs, Good Schools, and everything else that goes towards the American Dream!”

On Wednesday, a hearing in Mr Trump’s classified documents case in Florida devolved into a chaotic shouting match as two lawyers fought over claims of a threat allegedly made to a defense attorney.

The hearing had been scheduled on behalf of Walt Nauta, the former president’s co-defendant and valet, to share arguments that the office of Justice Department special counsel Jack Smith had vindictively and selectively charged him with offenses.

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The brand-new Democrats waging a surprisingly cynical war against Trump

Here’s John Bowden on the failed run for Congress of ex-Capitol police officer Harry Dunn and what it has to tell us about the bigger picture.

Joe Sommerlad23 May 2024 13:15

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Justice Samuel Alito ‘hung another Jan 6 flag outside his second home’

Another flag carried by January 6 rioters was seen flying outside the New Jersey beach home of Supreme Court justice Samuel Alito on multiple occasions last year, according to a report.

The “Appeal to Heaven” flag, was carried by rioters during the pro-Trump attack on the US Capitol in 2021, was flown outside the vacation home of Justice Alito during the summer of 2023.

Also known as the “Pine Tree flag”, it dates back to the Revolutionary War.

It comes days after reports from The New York Times that a flagpole on the judge’s front lawn at a property in Virginia had flown an upside-down Stars-and-Stripes in late 2020 and early 2021 in the days after Joe Biden took office.

The “Appeal To Heaven” flag and the inverted US flag were both embraced by supporters of Trump’s “Stop The Steal” campaign, which falsely claimed Biden’s win was fraudulent.

Joe Sommerlad23 May 2024 12:45

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New York hush money trial: Trump tests gag order by talking about prosecutor

Trump spoke to WABC radio last night and spoke rather unwisely about Manhattan prosecutor Matthew Colangelo.

He also flubbed an answer about why he chickened out of testifying on the witness stand and issued a bizarre warning about “terrorists” arriving at the southern border from the Congo, or some such rubbish.

Joe Sommerlad23 May 2024 12:15

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Collins challenges Cruz on Trump’s attacks on his family

Speaking of ring-kissers, Texas senator Ted Cruz was confronted with his flagrant hypocrisy by Kaitlan Collins on CNN last night.

Joe Sommerlad23 May 2024 11:45

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Nikki Haley says she will vote for Trump

Briefly, and improbably, the face of the resistance, “Birdbrain” now becomes the latest Republican to eat her words, set aside months of personal insults and abuse and dutifully kiss the ring.

Or, I don’t know, this?

Here’s John Bowden on the latest member of the GOP to sell off their hard-won credibility at a low, low price.

Joe Sommerlad23 May 2024 11:15

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Trump to hold first New York rally in eight years

With his travel schedule badly hampered by the Manhattan hush money criminal trial and his near-daily court commitments, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee has had to get creative with campaigning ahead of the 2024 election.

Today, Trump is set to hold a rally in New York, his first in the Empire State in eight years, and not in a MAGA stronghold like the rural north, western region or even the borough of Staten Island.

No no. Trump is heading to the South Bronx.

His campaign has filed a permit for a 3,500-person gathering in Crotona Park at 6pm on Thursday 23 May.

Trump is expected to use the rally to talk about the economy, crime rates, and the migrant crisis.

“New Yorkers have suffered greatly thanks to Biden’s failed policies,” the campaign said, announcing the event.

Here’s more from Oliver O’Connell.

Joe Sommerlad23 May 2024 10:45

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Florida classified documents case: Shouting match erupts at hearing as Trump and allies try to dismiss charges

A hearing in Trump’s classified documents case devolved into a chaotic shouting match on Wednesday as lawyers fought over claims of a threat allegedly made to a defense attorney.

The hearing on Wednesday morning had been scheduled for Walt Nauta, Trump’s co-defendant and valet, to share arguments that the office of special counsel Jack Smith had vindictively and selectively charged him with offenses.

Judge Aileen Cannon, who was appointed by Trump, did not issue a ruling, according to CNN.

The hearing was quickly taken over by a disagreement over an August 2022 meeting including prosecutor Jay Bratt and Stanley Woodward, Nauta’s defense attorney, who claimed in court and legal filings that Bratt tried to convince Nauta to cooperate with the prosecution against Trump by threatening to affect the possible nomination of a judgeship.

Nauta argues that he was charged for not cooperating with the Justice Department and its probe into Trump’s alleged mishandling of classified files.

Here’s more on the row from Gustaf Kilander.

Joe Sommerlad23 May 2024 10:15

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Truth Social: Trump pledges to ‘Make New York Great Again’ ahead of South Bronx rally

Today’s big event in Trumpworld is the former president’s first New York rally in eight years as he takes to the rally stage in Crotona Park in the South Bronx.

Here he is cheerleading for it last night:

Joe Sommerlad23 May 2024 09:45

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Truth Social: Trump resumes attack on Jack Smith over classified documents case

There was also plenty more vitriol against his enemies in the legal sphere, with “Deranged” Justice Department special counsel Jack Smith back in his sights.

The Republican presidential candiate is also continuing to push that the lie that the FBI agents who raided Mar-a-Lago in August 2022 in search of the secret files he had stolen from the US government were prepared to kill him.

The reason that operation became necessary was because he refused to co-operate with the National Archives when it requested its material back.

Joe Sommerlad23 May 2024 09:15

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Truth Social: Trump promises release of imprisoned journalist Evan Gershkovich in late-night deluge of posts

Trump spent yesterday fundraising in Houston and Dallas and afterwards was up late on his social media platform, thanking Texas governor Greg Abbott and lieutenant-governor Dan Patrick for their support (Patrick was also at his trial in Manhattan earlier this week).

Among his more interesting posts, amid the usual stew of dubious graphs, Fox quotes and campaign videos, was this pledge to ensure the release of Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, who has been in prison in Vladimir Putin’s Russia for over a year on trumped up spying charges.

Trump has rarely shown much interest in his plight before.

Joe Sommerlad23 May 2024 08:45


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