Cup of Joe – March 19, 2023

Donald Trump said Saturday he expects to be arrested in connection with the investigation by the Manhattan District Attorney next week and called for protests as New York law enforcement prepares for a possible indictment, CNN reports.

Trump, referring to himself, said the “leading Republican candidate and former president of the United States will be arrested on Tuesday of next week.”

He added: “Protest, take our nation back.”

In a separate post, Trump said America is “now third world” and “dying” while claiming that “American patriots are being arrested and held in captivity like animals.”

CNN: “An indictment would involve setting a date and time for Trump to surrender. Trump’s US Secret Service detail would deliver him to the Manhattan district attorney’s office for fingerprinting and then taking mugshots in offices of the district attorney’s detective squad.”

“As is customary in cases where a defendant is allowed to voluntarily surrender, after arrest processing, the former president would be brought directly to an arraignment before a judge where he would likely be released on his own recognizance.”

Bloomberg offers a view of Donald Trump’s campaign plane — the Boeing 757 named “Trump Force One” — where he finds that the “vernacular and procedures evident in traveling with the former president and current front-runner for the GOP nomination cast light on Trump’s yearning for the trappings of the White House.”

“The small group of reporters traveling with Trump on March 13 were given gold, octagonal lanyards that said ‘Trump Force One Press Pool,’ near-replicas of those issued during his administration. President Joe Biden’s White House has since changed the traveling badges to a longer, rectangular shape.”

Classic detail: “Shortly after Trump’s plane was wheels up from Iowa back to Palm Beach, a flight attendant walked to the front with a large red and white bucket of KFC chicken.”

“A federal judge has at least partially granted a request from U.S. prosecutors to force an attorney for Donald Trump to testify before a grand jury about the former president’s possession of classified documents after leaving office,“ the Washington Post reports.

“The lawyer, Evan Corcoran, had refused to answer investigators’ questions about his interactions with Trump, invoking attorney-client privilege — a principle of U.S. legal practice that says lawyers must keep confidential what they are told by their clients.”

“Local, state and federal law enforcement and security agencies are preparing for the possibility that former President Donald Trump will be indicted as early as next week,“ NBC News reports.

“Law enforcement agencies are conducting preliminary security assessments, the officials said, and are discussing potential security plans in and around the Manhattan Criminal Court, at 100 Centre Street, in case Trump is charged in connection with an alleged hush money payment to Stormy Daniels and travels to New York to face any charges.”

“Federal officials cannot find two gifts received by President Donald Trump and his family from foreign nations, including a life-size painting of Trump from the president of El Salvador and golf clubs from the Japanese prime minister,“ the Washington Post reports.

“The gifts are among more than 100 foreign gifts — with a total value of nearly $300,000 — that Trump and his family failed to report to the State Department in violation of federal law.”

“On her final day as the top judge in the District of Columbia on Friday afternoon—in her final act—Chief Judge Beryl A. Howell did more than grant the Justice Department permission to question former President Donald Trump’s personal attorney. She actually took the rare step of handing over the lawyer’s notes to federal prosecutors,” the Daily Beast reports.

“In doing so, Howell may have planted the seeds for a future constitutional challenge. But in the immediate term, she’s handed Justice Department Special Prosecutor Jack Smith a parting gift: what she deemed as evidence of a crime involving the former president improperly hoarding classified documents after he left office.”

“Top executives at Donald Trump’s social media company started to become concerned last spring about $8m that they had accepted from opaque entities in two emergency loans when its auditors sought further details about the payments,” The Guardian reports.

“The payments had come at a critical time for Trump Media – which runs the Truth Social platform – because it was running out of cash after its planned merger with a blank check company known as DWAC that would have unlocked $1.3bn in capital stalled pending an SEC investigation.”

Politico: “Senior members — including Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) and Reps. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Mark Green (R-Tenn.), chairs of the Judiciary and Homeland Security Committees, respectively — are quietly working on a slate of border-related bills, according to four GOP lawmakers and aides, that could be ready to begin moving as soon as the end of the month.”

“Republicans have pitched ideas like reviving the border wall and cracking down on asylum seekers, policies that stand no chance in the Senate but would let them claim a messaging victory — if they can manage to push them through the House.”

“Nine South Carolina Republicans who had co-sponsored one of the most severe anti-abortion proposals in the country have since withdrawn their support, reversing course on a measure that proposes applying the state’s homicide laws to people who undergo abortions,” NBC News reports.

“The legislation, which had a total of 24 co-sponsors — all Republicans — since its introduction in January, lost support from nine of them in recent weeks.”

“Wyoming on Friday became the first state to ban the use of abortion pills, adding momentum to a growing push by conservative states and anti-abortion groups to target medication abortion, the method now used in a majority of pregnancy terminations in the United States,” the New York Times reports.

CNN: “The Coast Guard is responsible for the initial vetting of mariners as well as continued monitoring and enforcement of misconduct on land or while on the job that would make them ineligible for a credential.”

“But the Coast Guard has failed to use its power to prevent and punish sexual assault and misconduct for decades.”

A former Tennessee state senator accused of violating federal campaign finance laws is seeking to withdraw his guilty plea, arguing that he initially did so with “unsure heart and confused mind,” the AP reports.

Brian Kelsey (R) had entered a guilty plea before a federal judge in November in the case related to a failed 2016 congressional campaign. Before that, Kelsey had previously pleaded not guilty — often describing his case as a “political witch hunt” — but changed his mind shortly after his co-defendant, Nashville social club owner Joshua Smith, pleaded guilty to one count under a deal that required him to “cooperate fully and truthfully” with federal authorities.

Washington Post: “The ‘Project 2020’ report conducted by the Berkeley Research Group and a team of scientists has now been obtained by prosecutors investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.”

“A copy was reviewed by The Washington Post, and it shows that Trump’s own campaign paid more than $600,000 for research that undercut many of his most explosive claims. The research was never made public.”

“Former President Donald Trump is firing a fusillade of policy proposals into the GOP presidential primary. The effort to one-up rivals in the early stages of the race may help Trump shift focus from his mounting legal woes and the failings of high-profile candidates he backed in key midterm races,” NBC News reports.

“But the main purpose, some close advisers to Trump say, is to offer primary voters a forward-looking vision that emphasizes what he plans to do — a notable shift from his 2020 campaign, which centered on ‘promises made, promises kept,’ and a response to conservatives who worry he’s too focused on the past. Dubbed ‘Agenda47,’ Trump’s developing platform mixes new, recast and recycled planks … to give his campaign a fresher look.”

Washington Examiner: “A Second Amendment advocacy group is calling on House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) to cancel his financial support of Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), arguing the Republican leader shouldn’t funnel money to lawmakers who have backed ‘anti-gun’ legislation.”

“‘Teflon’ Mark Rutte, the Dutch prime minister, has clocked up 13 years in office, four coalition governments and even one resignation without losing his grip on power. But the 55-year-old has been handed a humiliating electoral defeat at the hands of the rag-tag and inexperienced Farmers-Citizen Movement (the BBB),” The Telegraph reports.

“In a vote that became a referendum on Mr Rutte’s leadership, the BBB came from nowhere to become the largest party in all Dutch provinces after Wednesday’s regional elections.”

“The Boys Who Cried ‘Woke!’” by Jamelle Bouie, New York Times: “The people who blame wokeness for the collapse of a bank do not want you to understand or even think about the political economy of banking in the United States. They want to deflect your attention from the real questions toward a manufactured cultural conflict. And the reason they want to do this is to obscure the extent to which they and their allies are complicit in — or responsible for — creating an environment in which banks collapse for lack of appropriate regulation.

This, again, is just one example of how bad actors and interested parties try to obscure serious questions about the structure of our society with claims that serve only to muddy the waters. You don’t have to look hard to find others.”

“The Federalist Society Isn’t Quite Sure About Democracy Anymore” by Ian Ward, Politico: “But now, as the American right lurches toward a more explicitly anti-democratic position,  the society’s members are face to face with a troubling possibility: that most conservatives couldn’t care less about their high-minded principles, and, even worse, that many of their allies view their attachment to those principles as a quaint — and slightly embarrassing — relic of the bygone era when conservatives still had to be coy about what they actually believed. And whether or not those criticisms are true, there was a definite sense of cognitive dissonance at the conference, where many of the panelists appeared willing to endorse the logic of anti-democratic arguments but shied away from those arguments’ more radical conclusions.

“21% of Fox News Viewers Trust Network Less After Texts Revealed in Dominion Lawsuit: Survey” by Andrew Wallenstein, Gavin Bridge, Variety: “More than a fifth of Fox News Channel viewers are less trusting of the cable network in the wake of publicly disclosed text messages and emails from Fox executives and on-air personalities, according to a new survey. 

But only 9% of Fox News viewers say they aren’t watching the network as much as they used to, per research provided exclusively to Variety Intelligence Platform by consumer insights specialists Maru Group.”

New York Times: “The [Proud Boys] defense, which intends to start its case on Monday, expects to present a fairly long list of witnesses, including several of the defendants.”

New York Times: “Without the visceral urgency of a dangerous virus — or a sitting president who tweets erratically late into the night — America’s news obsessives may simply feel more comfortable changing the channel in the evenings rather than waiting on tenterhooks for the latest development. At the same time, prime-time stars like Rachel Maddow have moved on from their regular time slots.”

Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

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