Democratic U.S. Senator Bill Nelson may still be able to hold on to his seat. In the hotly contested race against Republican Rick Scott, there are now less than 18,000 votes separating the two.
“The Florida Senate election has further narrowed,” says Senator Nelson’s attorney, Marc Elias, via Twitter. Elias is a prominent Democratic attorney.
“Bill Nelson now trails by only 17,333 or .21%. It is now in HAND recount territory. More ballots still being counted. I expect that margin to narrow further until recount.”
Should Nelson hold to his seat the Senate would still be majority Republican, but barely, helping to offer some, but far from total, pushback on the Republican agenda.
“We believe that at the end of this process, Sen. Nelson is going to be declared the winner,” Elias said on a conference call Thursday morning, according to Roll Call.
Enjoy this piece?
… then let us make a small request. The New Civil Rights Movement depends on readers like you to meet our ongoing expenses and continue producing quality progressive journalism. Three Silicon Valley giants consume 70 percent of all online advertising dollars, so we need your help to continue doing what we do.
NCRM is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. From unflinching coverage of religious extremism, to spotlighting efforts to roll back our rights, NCRM continues to speak truth to power. America needs independent voices like NCRM to be sure no one is forgotten.
Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure NCRM remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to NCRM, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.
‘Straight Up Flout the Law’: Trump Declares Judge Chutkan No Longer Has Power Over His Case
Reacting to U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan’s ruling last week that Donald Trump is not immune from prosecution just because he was President during the time he attempted to subvert the U.S. Constitution and overthrow the government by overturning the results of the election, attorneys for the criminally-indicted ex-president on Thursday declared the judge no longer has any power over the case while they appeal her ruling.
Noting that the appeal “could take weeks or months,” Politico reports, “In the meantime, he says, Chutkan must postpone all deadlines and cede her authority over the matter.”
“Citing ‘political costs to President Trump and this country’ if the case were to move forward, Trump’s lawyers argued Thursday that he’s entitled to an ‘automatic stay’ while he appeals Chutkan’s ruling last week.”
Trump’s appeal to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals is “asking that court to overturn Chutkan’s ruling and dismiss the indictment against him,” Forbes adds.
Trump had also argued that he is immune from prosecution because the Senate did not convict him after his second House impeachment, this one for “incitement of insurrection.” Judge Chutkan also denied that claim.
“’The filing of President Trump’s notice of appeal has deprived this Court of jurisdiction over this case in its entirety pending resolution of the appeal,’ Trump attorneys Todd Blanche and John Lauro wrote. ‘Therefore, a stay of all further proceedings is mandatory and automatic,'” Politico reports. “Trump’s attorneys indicated that even if Chutkan doesn’t grant the stay, they plan to ask the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to do so and intend to operate as if there is one in place.”
Trump lawyers say unless Chutkan reverses her ruling, they will ignore all deadlines and other court procedures, unless they are told otherwise.
The Trump lawyers’ motion says, “all current deadlines must be held in abeyance until, at minimum, this motion is resolved. President Trump will proceed based on that understanding and the authorities set forth herein absent further order of the Court.”
“Very much in character,” The Economist’s Supreme Court reporter Steven Mazie wrote of the move by attorneys for the ex-president. “Trump is purporting to straight up flout the law.”
Former U.S. DOJ official and FBI General Counsel Andrew Weissman, a professor of law, said Trump was acting “Impudently.”
Former federal prosecutor Dennis Aftergut, of counsel to Lawyers Defending American Democracy, on Monday at Slate wrote Judge Chutkan’s opinion ruling Trump cannot claim presidential immunity for trying to overturn the 2020 election, “is meticulously crafted with the Supreme Court in mind. The decision deploys every methodology of constitutional interpretation, including textualism, each variety of so-called originalism, attention to constitutional structure and underlying premises, functional considerations, and history.”
‘Dystopian’: Potential Trump Cabinet Picks Send ‘5-Alarm’ Shock Waves of Terror
Attorney General Stephen Miller? Vice President Tucker Carlson? White House Chief of Staff Steve Bannon? CIA Director Kash Patel? A new report detailing a second Donald Trump presidency’s “loyalty first” potential cabinet nominees is sending shock waves over their extremist positions and in some cases an entirely insufficient level of experience for the job.
“Former President Trump, if elected, would build a Cabinet and White House staff based mainly on two imperatives: pre-vetted loyalty to him and a commitment to stretch legal and governance boundaries, sources who talk often with the leading GOP presidential candidate tell Axios,” the news outlet reported in an exclusive Thursday morning. “If Trump won in 2024, he’d turn to loyalists who share his zeal to punish critics, purge non-believers, and take controversial legal and military action, the sources tell us.”
Some of these possible picks for the very top levels of government hold or have promoted white supremacist, Christian nationalist, authoritarian, or fascistic policies or beliefs.
Axios calls them “full, proud MAGA warriors, anti-GOP establishment zealots, and eager and willing to test the boundaries of executive power to get Trump’s way.”
“They want to target and jail critics, including government officials and journalists; deport undocumented immigrants or put them in detainment camps, and unleash the military to target drug cartels in Mexico, or possibly crack down on criminals or protesters at home,” Axios’ Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei report, adding, “They want to scrap rules that limit their ability to purge government workers deemed disloyal.”
“Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas — a former Army infantry officer known for his hard edge, and who wrote a New York Times op-ed in Trump’s first term supporting use of the Insurrection Act against civil disorder — would be considered to head the Pentagon,” according to Axios.
Most of the names mentioned in the Axios report are well-known, and they are being promoted by many surrounding the disgraced criminally-indicted ex-president.
“Donald Trump Jr. has floated [Mike] Davis, the former chief counsel for nominations to then-Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), to be Trump’s interim attorney general — saying it would be a ‘shot across the bow of the swamp,'” Axios reports. “In his public auditions for the job, the bombastic Davis has promised a ‘three-week reign of terror‘ in which he would ‘put kids in cages’ and jail prosecutors and journalists who have gone after Trump — even telling MSNBC’s Mehdi Hasan that he has ‘his spot picked out in the D.C. gulag.'”
Meanwhile, Melania Trump is pushing for “booted” Fox News propagandist Tucker Carlson to be Trump’s running mate.
Other vice presidential possibilities mentioned include Arkansas governor and former Trump press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, U.S. Senator J.D Vance, and U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene.
Some close to Trump are promoting themselves for the vice presidential role, including U.S. Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL).
Axios also reports that “Johnny McEntee, Trump’s loyalty vetter and enforcer, [who] headed presidential personnel in the first term … might return to that role with even more power. He also could be Trump’s gatekeeper as head of Oval Office operations, or could be Cabinet secretary, riding herd on the White House liaisons to each department.”
“By late 2020, McEntee had explicit lists of top officials to fire and hire in a Trump second term, reaching far down the federal bureaucracy in a mission to truly ‘clean out’ the ‘Deep State.’ That project has continued outside of government with a $22 million presidential transition project led by the Heritage Foundation.”
On MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Axios’ Jim VandeHei, who co-authored the report, dove even further into how concerning these potential picks are, leading the Biden campaign to post a clip of a small portion of his remarks on social media:
Vandehei: For Trump’s Cabinet, Tucker Carlson could be the VP pick. Stephen Miller could be AG and has said that he wants detainment camps and mass deportations. Kash Patel has talked about using government to go after the media and could be the head of the CIA or NSC pic.twitter.com/u62nO4s5ZX
— Biden-Harris HQ (@BidenHQ) December 7, 2023
Vandehei went on to say, “you might like that, then you’re going to be electrified by this group but if you don’t like it, you’re probably going to be horrified by some of the picks. But what’s in common with all of these people is they share at least a willingness to do all the things that Donald Trump would say.”
And he reminded that none of Trump’s previous team that guarded the American people against his worst instincts will be part of a second Trump administration.
“None of those shackles will exist. He’s going to come in with a group of enablers and a group of executors. So whatever you thought about the first term, he’s going to be able to do things at a velocity rate he wasn’t capable of because he didn’t really know how to govern,” Vandehei added. “Now he knows a little bit better, but he’s surrounded by people and there’s these multimillion dollar efforts outside of his own orbit at the Heritage Foundation.”
“It’s not necessarily about substance,” he said of how the people choosing who becomes part of any next Trump administration would be, “it’s basically an ideological litmus test. Are you willing to believe wholly in Donald Trump, serve loyalty to Donald Trump and then implement his view of what the world should look like? If you can pass that test you might be one of the 50,000 people who get to come into [his] government.”
Meanwhile, critics responding to the Axios report are voicing extreme concern.
“This is about the most dystopian article ever written,” observed The Bulwark’s Tim Miller. “Like asking ChatGPT to write about a fantasy Trump administration cabinet that blends Nazis and celebrities in the style of 2008 Politico playbook.”
Former Biden Commerce Dept. official Caitlin Legacki wrote, “This Axios reporting should be a 5-alarm fire. Terrifying stuff in here and it’s barely making waves.”
U.S. Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) warned, “This is what is at stake in 2024 & lurking behind every single thing the extreme MAGA GOP is doing. Don’t lose the plot in their chaos or we will lose our democracy.”
New Jersey Treasury Dept. official Darryl Isherwood summed up what many seemed to be saying: “If this doesn’t scare you, you’re not paying attention.”
Watch the video above or at this link.
Image: Screenshot from Trump’s first cabinet meeting in 2019
Republicans Release Resolution for Expected Vote on Formal Biden Impeachment Inquiry
Republicans have released the text of a resolution ahead of an expected full House vote next week to open a formal impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden, despite having provided to the American people no actual proof of illegal activities or impeachable offenses.
The right-leaning news outlet The Hill, reporting on the resolution Thursday, notes Republicans’ current impeachment inquiry “has struggled to connect President Biden to the activities of his son, and they’ve failed to prove their most salacious allegation — and the one that would be most key for impeachment: that the president accepted a bribe.”
One of the main pillars of Republicans’ allegations against President Biden, the “narrative that President Biden pushed Ukraine to fire its prosecutor to help his son, who served on the board of Ukrainian energy company Burimsa, has largely been refuted.”
The resolution for the formal impeachment inquiry all but admits Republicans have not produced proof to impeach President Biden, by drafting it with no actual allegations. It is a boilerplate document focused on how the inquiry should be conducted, laying out rules and regulations related to handling evidence and testimony of witnesses.
Like his predecessor, now-former Speaker Kevin McCarthy, Speaker Mike Johnson has repeatedly pushed for the House to move forward on an impeachment trajectory, despite even some “mainstream” House Republicans voicing concerns over a lack of actual evidence.
“The speaker said he would move forward with a vote that Republicans have long avoided for fear that some in their ranks would refuse to endorse an investigation without incriminating evidence,” The New York Times reported Tuesday. “Republicans have engaged in wide-ranging inquiry into Mr. Biden for months, hunting for evidence to back up their allegations that he corruptly profited from his family members’ overseas business dealings and accepted bribes. To date, they have failed to deliver compelling evidence to back up their boldest claims.”
Last month, Vanity Fair reported “Republicans in Washington have all but owned up to the blatantly political rationale behind their impeachment inquiry against the president,” noting that in “a closed-door meeting, the House Speaker apparently suggested that Republicans can de-prioritize ousting Biden, given his waning popularity in the polls.”
- News2 days ago
Jim Comer Decimated by NBC Reporter in ‘Under Two Minutes’
- News3 days ago
‘Does America Need More God?’: Mike Johnson Laments LGBTQ High School Kids
- OPINION2 days ago
‘Hardball? You Bet’: Dems ‘Need to Be Prepared’ After McCarthy Exit Urges Top Political Scholar
- News3 days ago
‘Aiding and Abetting’: Speaker Johnson Blasted for Blurring Faces of J6 Participants
- News3 days ago
No Regrets: Tuberville to Continue Blocking 4-Star Generals While Releasing Hold on Other Officers
- RIGHT WING EXTREMISM2 days ago
Mike Johnson Likens Himself to Moses, Tells Christian Nationalists God Charted His Path to Speaker
- News3 days ago
Florida GOP Chair Could Face ‘Censure or Discipline’ After Rape Allegation and Three-Way Sex Claim
- News2 days ago
‘What Bible Is He Reading?’: Morning Joe Trashes Mike Johnson for ‘Lie After Lie’ to ‘Keep His Job’