Prosecutors working for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York are investigating whether longtime Trump confidant Hope Hicks helped coordinate hush-money payments made to silence women who alleged to have affairs with President Donald Trump.
The Wall Street Journal reports that SDNY prosecutors “asked Ms. Hicks about her contacts with Mr. Pecker, the CEO of American Media, publisher of the National Enquirer” and also “asked at least one other witness whether Ms. Hicks had coordinated with anyone at American Media concerning a Journal article on Nov. 4, 2016—days before the election—that revealed American Media had paid $150,000 for the rights to former Playboy model Karen McDougal’s story of an alleged affair with Mr. Trump.”
Former Trump “fixer” Michael Cohen pleaded guilty last year to making illegal campaign contributions in the form of hush money payments to McDougal and adult film star Stormy Daniels. Cohen’s guilty plea directly implicated Trump in committing a felony by saying that he had made the payments “at the direction” of the president.
The Journal’s report also reveals that SDNY “has gathered more evidence than previously known in its criminal investigation” of the hush money payments and has also interviewed former Trump bodyguard Keith Schiller about what he knew about the payments.
Additionally, the Journal reveals that prosecutors are looking at “discrepancies” between the testimonies of Cohen and longtime Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg, as Cohen has told prosecutors that “Weisselberg had a deeper involvement in the hush payment to Ms. Daniels than Mr. Weisselberg had indicated.”
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‘Florida Goes Full Fascist’: Ron DeSantis Sparks Furious Backlash With ‘Authoritarian’ Campus Political Surveys
Gov. Ron DeSantis signed legislation requiring Florida students, faculty and staff to register their political views in surveys in an effort to promote “intellectual diversity” at colleges and universities, and the measure set off backlash across social media.
Critics decried the law, which DeSantis claims will promote freedom of speech, as a “thoroughly Orwellian” attempt to gain control over academic debate at institutions of higher learning.
Well, this is thoroughly Orwellian. 😳 Faculty and students of Florida, you know what to do! Freep Mini-Trump's stupid poll!
State university faculty, students to be surveyed on beliefs https://t.co/Sny6qw3cxf
— Betty Cracker 🐊 (@bettycrackerfl) June 23, 2021
Florida is trying real hard to go full fascist, using government power and authority to influence, silence, and promote preferred political points of view. https://t.co/bCvtMjKtg2
— Jordan (@ChikooSlim) June 23, 2021
Well that's got to be unconstitutional: Florida students required to register political views with the state to promote ‘intellectual diversity’ https://t.co/DydVSezhHC
— David Rothkopf (@djrothkopf) June 23, 2021
Florida is becoming too dangerous full of right wing extremists.
Floridians are shooting each other every day while Gov DeSantis keeps signing authoritarian edicts & citizens applaud. Watching a nightmare in real time. Down is Up and Up is Down with palm trees & eroding beaches
— Natives&ImmigrantsAreUS (@LillianRodrigu6) June 23, 2021
DeSantis wants to survey university students and staff, with the threat of budget cuts if he doesn't get his way???
Dear Florida college students: Time to register your faith as Jedi and f-ck him up.
— Witty Librarian In a Mask (@PaulWartenberg) June 23, 2021
Also if you don’t think they’ll sell your survey answers connected to your ID to the highest bidders, well, perhaps Florida is for you after all.
— Heather Flyte (@hbflyte) June 23, 2021
Holy cow this is dangerous. #ThoughtPolice
— BD (@analogretentive) June 23, 2021
I raised two smart-asses. If they were going to be in a Florida University, they would find great pleasure in skewing Ronny’s fascist nonsense.
— Israel Jablonski (@IsrJablonski) June 23, 2021
— Zack Beauchamp (@zackbeauchamp) June 23, 2021
Fascist authoritarianism takes another step forward in Florida. https://t.co/aRnOdvOQvS
— Rusty Cannon (@RustyCannon) June 23, 2021
Watch: Schumer Compares McConnell to Southern Segregationists for Blocking Voting Rights
On Tuesday, following Senate Republicans’ lockstep vote to block debate on voting rights, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) gave a thunderous speech comparing Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to the southern segregationists who fought the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
“Republican state legislatures across the country are engaged in the most sweeping voter suppression in 80 years,” said Schumer. “Capitalizing on and catalogued by Donald Trump’s big lie. These state governments are making it harder for younger, poorer, urban and non-white Americans to vote. Earlier today, the Republican leader told reporters that, quote, ‘Regardless of what may be happening in some states, there is no rationale for federal intervention.’ The Republican leader flatly stated that no matter what the states do to undermine our democracy — voter suppression laws, phony audits, partisan takeovers of local election boards — the Senate should not act.”
“The Republican leader uses the language and the logic of the southern senators in the ’60s who defended states rights, and it is an indefensible position for any senator, any senator, let alone the minority leader to hold,” said Schumer. “When John Lewis was about to cross that bridge in Selma, he didn’t know what waited for him on the other side. He didn’t know how long his march would be. And his ultimate success was never guaranteed. But he started down that bridge anyway. Today Democrats started our march to defend the voting rights of all Americans. It could be a long march, but it is one we are going to make.”
GOP Senators Orchestrate ‘Blockade’ of Key Biden Agenda Bills: Voting Rights Bill Killed, Infrastructure in Doubt
Republicans Tuesday evening killed debate on the For the People Act, a key component of Democrats’ agenda to protect democracy, expand and strengthen voting rights, and reduce the influence of dark money in elections. As Senators were voting on the motion to begin debate on the bill, news broke that the GOP Whip, Sen. John Thune of South Dakota had announced another critical piece of Democratic legislation, the infrastructure bill, was even further in doubt.
GOP Senators appeared to be orchestrating a complete and total shutdown of key legislation critical to President Joe Biden’s progressive agenda.
Democratic Majority Leader Schumer immediately denounced Republicans’ “blockade.”
Sen. Thune also said Republicans would oppose a slimmed down version of a voting rights bill:
Thune contradicts Blunt when asked just now if GOP leadership would come out against narrower measures like the VRA: “I suspect yes.”
“It just replaces a state’s sovereignty with the federal government, and that’s a bridge I don’t think our members are willing to cross.” https://t.co/mmVduM5fPH
— Andrew Solender (@AndrewSolender) June 22, 2021
60 votes were required to begin debate on the voting rights bill. The motion failed in a 50-50 vote. As voting was taking place GOP Minority Leader Mitch mcConnell could be seen huddling with other top Republican Senators including John Cornyn of Texas and John Kennedy of Louisiana.
The only option to pass the bill now would be for a simple majority of Senators agree to kill the 60-vote filibuster. Some are supporting a modification to 55 votes. Democratic Senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona had steadfastly refused to support killing the filibuster.
“This is a dark day in this country,” Al Sharpton said on MSNBC.
“This is a dark day for Republicans,” host Nicolle Wallace replied. “Republicans won’t just walk over norms, they will burn them down,” she told host Ari Melber during the handoff.
Voting rights expert Ari Berman weighed in, chastising the GOP:
Vote on For the People Act isn’t on legislation itself, but whether to start debate on the bill. Republicans are so afraid of democracy they won’t even allow a debate on how to fix it
— Ari Berman (@AriBerman) June 22, 2021
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