Watch: Chris Hayes Destroys Kim Davis’ Attorney’s Arguments
There’s a reason the folks at Liberty Counsel keep losing. Chris Hayes debates Mat Staver, the head of the legal group representing Kim Davis.
There’s a reason Liberty Counsel keeps losing at every turn. Their legal arguments are based on their religious extremism, and their reason for being is to inject theirÂ religious extremism into American law. Fortunately, they’re failing, because even the most conservative of judges (Alabama’s Roy Moore excluded) generally still respects the Constitution.
Meet Mat Staver.
Staver is the head of Liberty Counsel, the certified anti-gay hate group that, like ambulance-chasing attorneys, looks for potentially high-profile cases of religious liberty, then uses its clients to further its agenda ofÂ religious extremism.
Liberty Counsel is representing Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who, under the counsel of Staver’s group, finds herself in jail, a “prisoner of her conscience,” Staver told reporters yesterday.Â
Staver Friday night appeared on MSNBC’s “All In with Chris Hayes,” and was roundly pummeled in a very gracious manner by the 36-year old journalist.Â
“Mr. Staver, there’s no victory here, there’s no path to victory. How do you understand the end game here?,” Hayes began.
UPDATE:Â Fox News Legal Panel: Kim Davis’ Attorney’s Defense Is ‘Stunningly Obtuse’ And ‘Ridiculously Stupid’
Then, Hayes brought up the nation’s historic bans on interracial marriage.Â Staver refused such comparisons, insisting that same-sex marriage has altered the historic definition of marriage, which is of course poppycock.
Staver claimed there are “express constitutional amendments” prohibiting bans on interracialÂ marriage, which of course is false. Bans on interracial marriageÂ were struck down by the Supreme Court inÂ Loving v. Virginia.Â That’s a rather embarrassing error for any attorney to make.Â
LOOK:Â Breaking: ‘Prisoner Of Conscience’ Kim Davis Says She Has ‘No Remorse,’ Will Not Quit, Will Appeal
Hayes asked if “post Loving v. Virginia, 1967,” should clerks “have the right to carry on their duties, and not give licenses to interracial couples?”Â
“The difference is, before and after the Supreme Court decision, marriage was always, and still remained, the union of a man and a woman,” Staver then tried to argue.Â
Marriage over time has been used to form kingdoms, stop wars, and ensure property rights, just as it in biblical times was between one man and as many wives as he could afford. And there are plenty of examples of same-sex marriages being blessed by religion centuries ago.
“If really, the issue here is, you say, itâ€™s conscience, right?,” Hayes asks. “Then that sort of jurisprudencial argument doesnâ€™t seem to me to apply. The question is, what does her Christian conscience tell her? If someoneâ€™s Christian conscience did not allow them to for instance, issue divorce certificates â€“Â I mean, Jesus himself condemned divorce, letâ€™s be clear â€“Â should they be able to do that?”
Staver’s response was that “throughout the millenniaÂ we’ve never had same-sex marriage,” which, again, is false.Â
Staver also claimed that divorce doesn’t change the essence of marriage, to which Hayes responded that “no-fault divorce is perhaps the most radical change to marriage in centuries.”
Hayes then attacked Staver for his group’s fundraising.Â
“Mr. Staver, there are allies of yours that say they think you’re taking Kim Davis for a rideÂ and basically raising money off her plight, so I’m just asking the question. How are you doing on fundraising this week?,” Hayes asked.
It was, needless to say, heated, and a win for Hayes and the Constitution, and a loss for Staver.
Ted Cruz Forgets His Religious Right Pals Are Calling Kim Davis ‘Rosa Parks’
Rand Paul Advises Marriage Equality Supporters To Back Off Kim Davis
Second Same-Sex Couple Gets License In Rowan County As Religious Activists Call Them ‘Perverts’
Image: Screenshot via MSNBC
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Debt Ceiling: McCarthy Faces ‘Lingering Anger’ and a Possible Revolt as Far-Right House Members Start Issuing Threats
As House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) continues to negotiate a deal to avoid a debt crisis, members of the far-right Freedom Caucus are growing furious with him over broken promises he made to them.
According to MSNBC political analyst Steve Benen, with a slim GOP majority in the House, McCarthy is walking a tightrope to get a budget deal passed and may need help from House Democrats if members of his caucus refuse to go along with him.
As Benen points out, in order to win the speakership McCarthy agreed to an easier path for a motion to “vacate the chair” which could end his tenure as Speaker. That could come into play if the Freedom Caucus stages a revolt.
“… as the negotiations approach an apparent finish line, the House Republicans’ most radical faction is learning that it isn’t likely to get everything its members demanded — and for the Freedom Caucus, that’s not going to work,” he wrote in his MSNBC column.
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Citing a Washington Times report that stated, “[Freedom Caucus members] want everything from the debt limit bill passed by the House last month plus several new concessions from the White House,” Benen suggested far-right House Republicans are now issuing veiled threats.
In an interview, Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) stated, “I am going to have to go have some blunt conversations with my colleagues and the leadership team. I don’t like the direction they are headed.”
With Politico reporting, “The [House Freedom Caucus] was already unlikely to support a final bipartisan deal, but lingering anger with Kevin McCarthy could have lasting implications on his speakership,” Benen added, “If this is simply a matter of lingering ill-will from members who come to believe that GOP leaders ‘caved,’ the practical consequences might be limited. But let’s also not forget that McCarthy, while begging his own members for their support during his protracted fight for the speaker’s gavel, agreed to tweak the motion-to-vacate-the-chair rules, which at least in theory, would make it easier for angry House Republicans to try to oust McCarthy from his leadership position.”
Adding the caveat that he is not predicting an imminent McCarthy ouster he added, “But if the scope of the Freedom Caucus’ discontent reaches a fever pitch, a hypothetical deal clears thanks to significant Democratic support, don’t be surprised if we all start hearing the phrase ‘vacate the chair” a lot more frequently.”
Prosecutors Tell Trump They Have a Recording of Him and a Witness: Report
Prosecutors in Donald Trump’s Manhattan criminal trial have notified the ex-president’s attorneys they have a recording of him and a witness. The notification comes in the form of an automatic discovery form, CBS News reports, which “describes the nature of the charges against a defendant and a broad overview of the evidence that prosecutors will present at Trump’s preliminary hearing or at trial.”
CBS reports prosecutors have handed the recording over to Trump’s legal team.
It’s not known who the witness is, nor are any details known publicly about what the conversation entails, or even if it is just audio or if it includes video.
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According to the article’s author, CBS News’ Graham Kates, via Twitter, prosecutors say they also have recordings between two witnesses, a recording between a witness and a third party, and various recordings saved on a witness’s cell phones.
Manhattan prosecutors disclosed to Trump a recording of him and a witness in his criminal case. pic.twitter.com/EIz3bvpEkj
— Graham Kates (@GrahamKates) May 26, 2023
Trump is facing 34 felony counts in Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s case related to his allegedly unlawful attempt to hide hush money payoffs to a well-known porn star by falsifying business records to protect his 2016 presidential campaign.
See the discovery form above or at this link.
Image via Shutterstock
‘Likely to Be Indicted Soon’: Trump Might Face Seven Different Felonies, Government Watchdog Says
It’s no secret the U.S. Dept. of Justice is investigating Donald Trump for his role in attempting to overturn the 2020 presidential election, and for his likely unlawful removal, retention, and refusal to return hundreds of documents with classified and top secret markings.
Earlier this week Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal reported, “Special counsel Jack Smith has all but finished obtaining testimony and other evidence in his criminal investigation into whether former President Donald Trump mishandled classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago resort.”
And while it’s unknown if or when Trump will be indicted, a government watchdog says the ex-president who is once again staging a White House run is “likely to be indicted soon.” The organization is offering details on what it claims could be seven felony charges he might face.
“The next criminal charges former President Donald Trump may face could well come from Special Counsel Jack Smith’s investigation into Trump’s possession of nearly 300 classified documents — including some marked as top secret — at his Mar-a-Lago residence and business in the year and a half after he left office,” Betsy Schick and Debra Perlin of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) state in a lengthy report published Friday.
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“While Fani Willis’ Fulton County, Georgia investigation into election interference continues, as does a federal investigation into efforts to overturn the 2020 election, and Alvin Bragg has already indicted Trump in New York for his role in false statements connected to hush money payments to Karen McDougal and Stephanie Clifford (aka Stormy Daniels) during the 2016 presidential campaign, an indictment by Smith in the Mar-a-Lago investigation would yield the first federal charges against the former president,” CREW notes.
“Trump may face charges ranging from obstruction of justice and criminal contempt to conversion of government property and unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents or material.”
Here is a list of “possible crimes” Trump might be charged with, according to CREW:
Obstruction of justice (18 U.S.C. § 1519)
Criminal contempt (18 U.S.C. § 402)
False statements to federal authorities (18 U.S.C. § 1001)
Conversion of government property (18 U.S.C. § 641)
Unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents or material (18 U.S.C. § 1924)
Removing and concealing government records (18 U.S.C. § 2071)
Gathering national defense information (18 U.S.C. § 793(e))
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CREW also offers that Trump’s attorneys may try to argue several different defenses, including:
No “knowing” removal
Deference to the intelligence community
Challenging the constitutionality of the Special Counsel regulations
Additionally, several reports this week also appear to suggest an indictment might be coming, and soon.
Citing a Washington Post report published Thursday, several top legal experts are predicting DOJ will charge Donald Trump, and those charges will include obstruction and violations of the Espionage Act.
Earlier this week NYU School of Law professor of law Ryan Goodman said Dept. of Justice Special Counsel Jack Smith had struck “gold” after obtaining the contemporaneous notes of a Trump attorney who counseled the ex-president on his possibly unlawful handling of classified documents.
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