Cup of Joe – August 18, 2023

I knew this was coming: “Donald Trump’s promised press conference to refute the allegations in the indictment handed up by the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office is now very much in doubt,” ABC News reports.

“Sources tell ABC News that Trump’s legal advisers have told him that holding such a press conference with dubious claims of voter fraud will only complicate his legal problems and some of his attorneys have advised him to cancel it.”

Now the question is whether he will ignore his lawyer’s advice.

“Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows officially filed Tuesday to move the case brought against him by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis into federal court, just a day after he was indicted along with former President Donald Trump and 17 others on charges of attempting to overturn Trump’s election loss in the state,” ABC News reports. “Trump is also expected to mount a similar effort, according to sources familiar with the matter.”

A federal judge in Georgia has scheduled a hearing for Aug. 28 to take up Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows’ motion to remove the case against him for alleged election interference from state to federal court.

A lot of the initial pre-trial action will be focused on whether federal law entitles Meadows and Trump to have their cases tried in federal court. The case would still be tried under Georgia law, but with a different jury pool and other procedural differences. More on this over time.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is seeking a March 4 trial date in her sweeping indictment against Donald Trump and 18 co-defendants, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports.

That would be a week before Georgia’s March 12 presidential primary.

Willis says her proposed deadlines “do not conflict” with Trump’s other criminal and civil cases pending in New York, Florida or Washington, D.C.

“To locals, the jail is known simply as Rice Street,” the New York Times reports.

“And over the next nine days, the sprawling Atlanta detention center is where defendants in the racketeering case against Donald Trump and his allies will be booked. The local sheriff, who oversees the jail, says that even high-profile defendants like Rudolph W. Giuliani, Mr. Trump’s former personal lawyer, and Mark Meadows, his former chief of staff, would be treated like everyone else should they surrender there.”

“That means they would undergo a medical screening, be fingerprinted and have mug shots taken, and could spend time in a holding cell at the jail, weeks after the Justice Department announced an investigation for what it called ‘serious allegations of unsafe, unsanitary living conditions’ there.”

“Georgia’s most powerful Republican politicians rejected pro-Donald Trump calls to change the state constitution to give the governor direct authority to pardon those convicted of crimes,” the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports.

The Daily Beast has cross-referenced the Fulton County indictment with available documents—like the House Jan. 6 committee’s trove of evidence, other Trump indictments, and contemporaneous news reports—to potentially identify up to 21 of the 30 anonymous co-conspirators.

“One month ago, 23 grand jurors and three alternates took an oath to keep secret their deliberations, as they began reviewing evidence and testimony about the alleged attempt to overturn the 2020 election in Georgia,” the Washington Post reports.

“But under state law, the identities of the jurors are not secret. In fact, the names of the Fulton County jurors are listed on Page 9 of the 98-page indictment released late Monday that criminally charges former president Donald Trump and 18 others.”

“The purported names and addresses of members of the grand jury that indicted Donald Trump and 18 of his co-defendants on state racketeering charges this week have been posted on a fringe website that often features violent rhetoric,” NBC News reports.

“The Fulton County Georgia court clerk on Tuesday acknowledged the release on its website of a document about former President Donald Trump being criminally charged,” Reuters reports.

“The 13 felony charges that the grand jury brought late on Monday against Trump matched those listed on the document that was posted on the court website earlier in the day and reported by Reuters before it disappeared.”

Vox lists the criminal charges he’s facing along with the potential prison time.

Wall Street Journal: “Minutes of the July policy meeting, released Wednesday, said some officials thought the risks of raising rates too much versus too little ‘had become more two-sided, and it was important that the committee’s decisions balance the risk of an inadvertent overtightening of policy against the cost of an insufficient tightening.’”

Wall Street Journal: “In the 1980s Rudy Giuliani all but reinvented an underused 1970 law against racketeering. He made it his mission in a two-year stint as the No. 3 official at the Justice Department to hire prosecutors across the country who would ferret out and prosecute criminal enterprises of all shapes and sizes. Then as Manhattan’s top federal prosecutor, he wielded the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act with huge success against Mafia dons, corrupt politicians, and 1980s Masters of the Universe financiers like Ivan Boesky and Michael Milken.”

“Now Giuliani, 79, is on the other side of the law that was the essential scaffolding of his own career. He was accused alongside former President Donald Trump and 17 others in an indictment late Monday of operating a criminal enterprise that sought to overturn Joe Biden’s electoral victory in Georgia, in violation of Georgia’s RICO Act, which is modeled on the federal law he once championed.”

Veteran mob lawyer Murray Richman told The Messenger that he’s “spoken to several of my clients” since Rudy Giuliani was charged with violating Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. Said Richman: “You can quote me to say, ‘They’re fucking thrilled.”

Jeffrey Lichtman, who represented Gambino crime family member John Gotti, added: “All of my clients who had the misfortune of being prosecuted by him are laughing now. As am I. It’s not just an ironic result but it’s a just result. He was a horribly dishonest prosecutor and the wheel of karma is about to crush him.”

“With his attorney in tow, Rudy Giuliani traveled to Mar-a-Lago in recent months on a mission to make a personal and desperate appeal to former President Donald Trump to pay his legal bills,” CNN reports.

“By going in person, Giuliani and his lawyer Robert Costello believed they could explain face-to-face why Trump needed to assist his former attorney with his ballooning legal bills.”

“Giuliani and Costello traveled to Florida in late April where they had two meetings with Trump to discuss Giuliani’s seven-figure legal fees, making several pitches about how paying Giuliani’s bills was ultimately in Trump’s best interest.”

“Samuel Miele, a fundraiser for embattled Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.), was indicted on allegations he had impersonated a top aide to a member of House leadership while soliciting donations for Santos’s campaign,” The Hill reports.

“Miele is charged with four counts of wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft.”

“A federal appeals court on Wednesday said it would restrict access to a widely used abortion medication after finding that the federal government did not follow the proper process when it loosened regulations in 2016 to make the pill more easily available,” the Washington Post reports.

“Despite the court’s ruling against the government and the drug manufacturer, mifepristone will remain available for now under existing regulations while the litigation continues, in accordance with a Supreme Court ruling this spring. Wednesday’s decision is likely to be appealed to the Supreme Court.”

“Speaker Kevin McCarthy told House Republicans on a conference call this week that he believes Congress will have to pass a short-term government funding bill to avoid a shutdown this fall,” NBC News reports.

“The remarks reflect a growing recognition that Congress doesn’t have enough time to reach a full-year funding deal before money runs out on Sept. 30. Lawmakers are on a monthlong August recess and return in September, just a few weeks before the deadline.”

“While McCarthy now privately agrees Congress needs to buy time to reach a funding deal, it’s not clear how much they’ll push for.”

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) on Wednesday said he will keep up his battle against the Biden administration and officials who seek to “undermine” the Inflation Reduction Act as part of their “radical climate agenda” on the first anniversary of it being signed into law, The Hill reports.

A Texas woman allegedly called the chambers of U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan in DC on Aug. 5 and left a message using the N-word and threatening to kill the Black jurist overseeing the Jan. 6 prosecution of Donald Trump. The message also allegedly contained threats to Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), who is also Black. In the message, left two days after Trump was arraigned in Chutkan’s courtroom, Abigail Jo Shry of Alvin, Texas, allegedly called the judge a “stupid slave n***er.”

“If Trump doesn’t get elected in 2024, we are coming to kill you, so tread lightly, b*tch,” Shry allegedly said. “You are in our sights, we want to kill you.” Shry has been charged with similar conduct in three other cases over the past year, according to the judge in the new case.

Her father spoke at her detention hearing, painting quite a picture of his daughter: “At the hearing, court papers said, Ms. Shry’s father, Mark Shry, testified that she was a “nonviolent alcoholic” who “sits on her couch daily watching the news while drinking too many beers.” After drinking, Mr. Shry told a judge in Texas, Ms. Shry often became “agitated by the news” and started “calling people and threatening them,” the papers said.

Shry is being detained pending trial.

“Georgia’s racketeering indictment against former President Trump and 18 of his allies lists 161 “overt acts” allegedly committed in furtherance of a conspiracy to overturn the 2020 election,” Axios reports. “Twelve of those overt acts are tweets sent from Trump’s account.”

And we don’t even know what Special Counsel Jack Smith found in his direct messages.

Marcy Wheeler: “Elon Musk has been eerily quiet about being held in contempt by Beryl Howell since the DC Circuit opinion was first released on August 9.”

“It’s not like him to pass up the opportunity to make an obnoxious comment.”

“Which is why I’m interested in what Musk was doing during the period when Xitter’s counsel was stalling on the DOJ request… He met with Jim Jordan on Thursday January 26, Kevin McCarthy that evening, and then Jordan (again) with James Comer the next day.”

“As of now, at least, Jordan and McCarthy are two of the just 51 people that Trump follows, who could have sent him DMs.”

Sen. Todd Young (R-IN) said Tuesday that the latest criminal indictments of former President Donald Trump were “more of the same,” and he urged fellow Republicans to move on from their support of the man who leads other GOP candidates in 2024 race for the White House, the Muncie Star Press reports.

Politico: “With Trump doubling down on his stolen-election rhetoric — and his decision to schedule a media event about it two days before the first Republican debate — the consensus was he is all but guaranteeing his GOP rivals would be forced to spend time on stage next week talking about an issue that continues to divide the party.”

Noah Rothman: “When it comes to analysis of Donald Trump’s growing legal liabilities, the conservative press has succumbed to something resembling a state of denial.”

New York Times: “After eight years of pushing back at a number of institutions in the United States, Mr. Trump is now probing the limits of what the criminal justice system will tolerate and the lines that Judge Chutkan sought to lay out about what he can — and cannot — say about the election interference case she is overseeing. He has waged a similarly defiant campaign against others involved in criminal cases against him, denouncing Jack Smith, the special counsel who brought two federal indictments against him, as ‘deranged’; casting Fani T. Willis, the district attorney of Fulton County, Ga., as ‘corrupt’; and even singling out witnesses.”

“Some lawyers have said that if Mr. Trump were an ordinary citizen issuing these attacks, he would be in jail by now. The question is whether Mr. Trump will face consequences for this kind of behavior ahead of a trial.”

Rolling Stone: “Drew Findling has a storied history within the Georgia legal world. The high-profile Atlanta attorney is known for representing celebrity clients like Cardi B, Migos’ Offset, DaBaby, and NBA Youngboy, garnering him the moniker #BillionDollarLawyer.”

“Findling has also been a frequent backer of Democratic political figures, so much so that in 2020 he donated to Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ primary campaign. The donation wouldn’t normally raise eyebrows, except that Findling is currently one of Donald Trump’s lead attorneys helping the former president fight RICO charges handed down by Willis on Monday.”

“A Georgia state agency said Tuesday that it will name a special prosecutor to consider whether the state’s Republican lieutenant governor should face criminal charges after former president Donald Trump and 18 of his allies were indicted Monday for working to overturn the state’s 2020 election results,” the AP reports.

“Lt. Gov. Burt Jones was one of 16 Republican electors who falsely claimed that Trump won Georgia. As a state senator, he also sought a special session of Georgia’s Legislature aimed at overturning President Joe Biden’s narrow win in the state. But Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis was barred by a judge from indicting Jones.”

New video from a documentary shows Roger Stone “working to overturn the 2020 presidential election — before the election had even been called for Joe Biden,” the Daily Beast reports.

Said Stone: “Although state officials in all 50 states must ultimately certify the results of the voting in their state…the final decision as to who the state legislatures authorize be sent to the Electoral College is a decision made solely by the legislature.”

He added: “Any legislative body may decide on the basis of overwhelming evidence of fraud to send electors to the Electoral College who accurately reflect the president’s legitimate victory in their state, which was illegally denied him through fraud… We must be prepared to lobby our Republican legislatures…by personal contact and by demonstrating the overwhelming will of the people in their state—in each state—that this may need to happen.”

“Parents who don’t send their kids to school on a regular basis could be sentenced to jail, the Missouri Supreme Court ruled Tuesday,” the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

“At least two brands have said they will suspend advertising on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, after their ads and those of other companies were run on an account promoting fascism,” CNN reports.  “The issue came less than a week after X CEO Linda Yaccarino publicly affirmed the company’s commitment to brand safety for advertisers.”

“A paper from U.K.-based researchers suggests that OpenAI’s ChatGPT has a liberal bias, highlighting how artificial intelligence companies are struggling to control the behavior of the bots even as they push them out to millions of users worldwide,” the Washington Post reports.

“A small city in southeastern Minnesota could be left without a police department after the entire force recently resigned,” NBC News reports. “The Goodhue Police Department resigned because of issues with the city’s pay, Mayor Ellen Anderson Buck said at a City Council meeting Monday. The city, which is in the county of the same name, it has a population of just over 1,000.”

“MAGA pillow magnate Mike Lindell kicked off his latest ‘election crime’ summit on Wednesday by boasting how the ‘important’ event would once and for all provide a ‘plan to secure our elections immediately,’” the Daily Beast reports.

“In true Lindell fashion, of course, the event went off the rails in only a matter of minutes, after he mistakenly aired a video of Jimmy Kimmel.”

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

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