Cup of Joe – July 16, 2023

“Donald Trump asked two courts in Georgia to disqualify Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis from investigating him and quash the special grand jury report that recommended criminal charges in Willis’ 2020 election interference probe,” CNBC reports.  In both, Trump’s attorneys argued that Willis “seeks an indictment” against Trump based on evidence that was “unlawfully obtained.”

“Federal prosecutors have interviewed the secretaries of state for both Pennsylvania and New Mexico in recent months as part of the ongoing investigation into efforts to overturn the 2020 election,” CNN reports.

“The interviews, which have not been previously reported, indicate that special counsel Jack Smith is focused on actions taken by former President Donald Trump and his allies in seven key battleground states as they sought to upend Joe Biden’s electoral victory.”

“Federal prosecutors interviewed Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson last month as part of the ongoing criminal probe into efforts to overturn the 2020 election,“ CNN reports. “Benson’s meeting with prosecutors working for special counsel Jack Smith, which has not been previously reported, lasted ‘for several hours.”

“Her interview with Smith’s team marks yet another recent meeting between prosecutors and officials from key battleground states that were targeted by former President Donald Trump and his allies as part of their bid to upend Joe Biden’s legitimate victory in the 2020 presidential election.”

“Arizona’s top prosecutor is ramping up a criminal investigation into alleged attempts by Republicans to overturn the 2020 presidential election results in the state by signing and transmitting paperwork falsely declaring Donald Trump the winner,” the Washington Post reports.  “Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes (D) assigned a team of prosecutors to the case in May, and investigators have contacted many of the pro-Trump electors and their lawyers.”

“Donald Trump’s criminal indictments in New York and Miami sparked a barrage of threats from his extremist supporters and alleged Russian hackers including bomb threats, protest plans and other forms of violence,” Bloomberg reports.

“None of the threats materialized, but the 85 pages obtained under the Freedom of Information Act provide a behind-the-scenes look at how federal agents responded to the threats.”

Daily Beast: “The vast majority of Santos’ fundraising haul—a total of $101,861—rolled in over the course of just three days, between May 20 and May 22. All of those donors had Chinese surnames, almost all of them contributed the maximum allowable amount of $3,300, and 26 of them had never given to Santos previously… For 14 of those donors, it was their first political contribution ever.”

“On June 23, that same pattern returned, this time to the tune of $24,100, all from donors who had never given to him previously.”

“In all, Santos received $125,961 from those donors. About $66,000 of that amount came from donors who had never given to any federal committee before, and more than $50,000 came from first-time Santos donors. Of all his donors this quarter, only five had given to him previously—accounting for just $157 of his $133,000 haul.”

“Iowa’s ban on most abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy was signed into law Friday by Gov. Kim Reynolds, but a judge is still considering abortion advocates’ request to put the restrictions on hold,” the AP reports.

“The new legislation prohibits almost all abortions once cardiac activity can be detected, which is usually around six weeks of pregnancy and before many women know they are pregnant. That’s a dramatic shift for women in Iowa, where abortion had been legal up to 20 weeks of pregnancy.”

Failed Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake (R) must pay a $122,200 sanctions penalty for pursuing a “frivolous” lawsuit seeking to overturn her 2022 midterm defeat, The Messenger reports.

Politico: “Biden capped off his trip in Helsinki, projecting a dramatically different presence than the last American president to visit the Finnish capital. Five years ago this week Donald Trump sided with Putin over America’s intelligence agencies’ conclusion that Russia interfered in the 2016 election. This time, Biden touted the strength of the alliance designed to halt Putin, with NATO only growing in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.”

Said Biden: “Putin’s already lost the war. Putin has a real problem — how does he move from here? What does he do? And so, the idea that there’s going to be, what vehicle is used — he could end the war tomorrow. He could just say, ‘I’m out.’”

“Chinese hackers tried to penetrate specific State Department email accounts in the weeks before Secretary of State Antony Blinken traveled to Beijing in June,” the New York Times reports. “The investigation of the efforts by the Chinese hackers, who likely are affiliated with China’s military or spy services, is ongoing, American officials said. But U.S. officials have downplayed the idea that the hackers stole sensitive information, insisting that no classified email or cloud systems were penetrated. The State Department’s cybersecurity team first discovered the intrusion.”

“To attract Republican primary voters across the country, Gov. Ron DeSantis is pitching himself as a ‘law-and-order’ presidential candidate. His proof: Florida’s 50-year crime low,” Axios reports. “Yes, but: Nearly half of the state’s population is excluded from 2021 crime figures estimated by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement… The data gap means it’s nearly impossible to compare Florida’s crime rate to other states or current crime statistics with data from past years.”

Just Security has published a model prosecution memorandum assessing the federal charges Special Counsel Jack Smith may bring against Donald Trump for criminal interference in the 2020 election. “We conclude there likely is sufficient evidence to obtain and sustain a conviction of Trump for his three-step plan to overturn the election.”

“A former White House aide to President Donald Trump who became a prominent congressional witness against him and his allies in the wake of the Jan. 6 siege of the U.S. Capitol has a book deal,” the AP reports. “Cassidy Hutchinson’s Enough will be released Sept. 26 by Simon & Schuster.”

“The Justice Department on Wednesday appealed the sentences handed down to seven members of the Oath Keepers — including founder Stewart Rhodes — for their roles in the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, a signal that prosecutors are not satisfied with the severity of the jail terms delivered by the federal judge overseeing the case,” Politico reports.

Associated Press: “This year’s unrelenting bloodshed across the U.S. has led to the grimmest of milestones: The deadliest six months of mass killings recorded since at least 2006.”

“From Jan. 1 to June 30, the nation endured 28 mass killings, all but one of which involved guns. The death toll rose just about every week, a constant cycle of violence and grief.”

“Six months. 181 days. 28 mass killings. 140 victims. One country.”

Chris Christie said he “can’t imagine” a presidential pardon for Donald Trump if he is found guilty in the classified documents case, The Hill reports.  Said Christie: “I can’t imagine a circumstance, as we see it right now, let’s say with the documents case, which is the only one that the president would have jurisdiction over, given what’s alleged in the indictment, if that were proven, and … the former president were found guilty, as long as I thought he got a fair trial … I would have a hard time considering any pardon.”

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

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