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Trump Reaches Deal with House Oversight Committee on Financial Records

The White House from Washington, DC, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Donald Trump’s attorneys have reached an agreement with the House Oversight and Reform Committee over its years-long battle to obtain the former president’s financial records.

In 2019, the committee subpoenaed the records as part of a larger investigation to assess if Trump engaged in conflicts of interest, self-dealing, or foreign financial ties. In July three federal judges moved to uphold the 2019 subpoena for the financial records, but with a more narrow scope than Democrats initially sought after.

According to The Washington Examiner:

“After numerous court victories, I am pleased that my Committee has now reached an agreement to obtain key financial documents that former President Trump fought for years to hide from Congress,” Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) said in a statement. “After facing years of delay tactics, the Committee has now reached an agreement with the former President and his accounting firm, Mazars USA, to obtain critical documents. These documents will inform the Committee’s efforts to get to the bottom of former President Trump’s egregious conduct and ensure that future presidents do not abuse their position of power for personal gain.”

The agreement comes after a long-standing legal battle between the committee and Trump, with the former president unsuccessfully attempting to challenge the panel’s subpoena for eight years of financial documents from his accounting firm, Mazars, after his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, accused him of committing fraud while testifying before Congress.

The notice does not affect Democrats on the Ways and Means Committee’s court battle to obtain Trump’s tax returns.

New Report Indicates Trump Will Postpone 2024 Campaign Announcement

Donald Trump via Gage Skidmore Flickr

New reports signal Donald Trump is seriously considering delaying his long-anticipated 2024 presidential campaign announcement.

The delay comes on the heels of a number of high-profile legal and political setbacks that sources close to the matter say have distracted from the potential 2024 announcement. (Related: Department of Justice Publishes Affidavit Used for FBI Raid on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Resort)

According to CNN:

After months of eyeing Labor Day weekend as the target launch date for a 2024 campaign, Trump has spent the past few weeks backing away from that timeline following the FBI search of his Mar-a-Lago estate and an increased panic among Republicans that the party may not be in for the red wave it has long anticipated this November.

While his timeline could shift again between now and November, the onslaught of political and legal concerns has the former President feeling nervous about prematurely diving into the 2024 primary, according to nine former and current Trump aides and allies who requested anonymity to discuss internal matters.

Otherwise, advisers say, the former President is more likely to be blamed for potential losses in the midterms if he becomes a candidate for president before November and his legal troubles distract from the bread-and-butter issues most Republicans — but especially those running in competitive races — would prefer to focus on.

The Republican Party has been predicted for months to sweep this year’s midterms by capitalizing on a series of blunders from the Biden administration such as the botched Afghanistan withdrawal, record inflation rates, and rising crime. However, analysts have recently reported that Republicans are now expected to win by a smaller margin than originally predicted.

A former Trump campaign aide told the outlet, “There is a direct tie if Trump becomes a campaign ad in November and Republicans lose the Senate, and the last thing he wants is to be blamed.”

READ NEXT: Ron DeSantis to Campaign for Trump-endorsed Candidates >>

DOJ Rebukes Trump Team’s Special Master Request in New Filing

Donald Trump via Gage Skidmore Flickr

The U.S. Department of Justice released a filing responding to former President Trump’s request a special master be appointed to review materials obtained from the FBI’s recent Mar-a-Lago raid.

“Politics cannot be allowed to impact the administration of justice. President Donald J. Trump is the clear frontrunner in the 2024 Republican Presidential Primary and in the 2024 General Election, should he decide to run,” Trump’s lawyers wrote in their request. “Law enforcement is a shield that protects Americans. It cannot be used as a weapon for political purposes.”

Through the filing, the DOJ picked apart Trump’s arguments that a special master is required starting with Trump’s assertion the documents had been stored in a secure room on the premises.

The DOJ filing predicted Trump “likely concealed and removed [the documents] from the Storage Room and that efforts were likely taken to obstruct the government’s investigation.”

The filing also noted that the government was able to develop enough evidence to obtain a warrant beyond the storage room which is where more materials were recovered.

Fox News reports:

It continued, “That the FBI, in a matter of hours, recovered twice as many documents with classification markings as the ‘diligent search’ that the former President’s counsel and other representatives had weeks to perform calls into serious question the representations made in the June 3 certification and casts doubt on the extent of cooperation in this matter.”

The DOJ filing also described Trump’s request for a special master as “unnecessary” alleging the move would “harm national security interests.”

“Furthermore, appointment of a special master would impede the government’s ongoing criminal investigation and—if the special master were tasked with reviewing classified documents—would impede the Intelligence Community from conducting its ongoing review of the national security risk that improper storage of these highly sensitive materials may have caused and from identifying measures to rectify or mitigate any damage that improper storage caused,” the filing said. “Lastly, this case does not involve any of the types of circumstances that have warranted appointment of a special master to review materials potentially subject to attorney-client privilege.” 

Following the raid, Trump also accused the DOJ of taking personal items such as passports from Mar-a-Lago. However, in the filing, the DOJ noted that personal effects are not subject to be returned due to the fact their “comingling” with sensitive materials serve as evidence the records were improperly stored. (Related: Trump Said FBI ‘Stole’ His Passports, DOJ Admits He’s Right)

“Wow! In the raid by the FBI of Mar-a-Lago, they stole three Passports (one expired), along with everything else,” Trump said in a TRUTH Social statement.

“Of most significant concern was that highly classified records were unfoldered, intermixed with other records, and otherwise unproperly [sic] identified.” Id. (internal quotations omitted). The NARA Referral was made on two bases: evidence that classified records had been stored at the Premises until midJanuary 2022, and evidence that certain pages of Presidential records had been torn up.”

The DOJ’s filing goes on to dissect Trump’s claim that the seized documents were covered by executive privilege. 

“The former President cites no case—and the government is aware of none—in which executive privilege has been successfully invoked to prohibit the sharing of documents within the Executive Branch,” it said. 

The DOJ filing comes on the heels of Judge Aileen M. Cannon’s statement that she is inclined to grant Trump’s request a special master be appointed to independently review the seized materials. (Related: Judge Signals ‘Preliminary’ Intent to Side with Trump’s Lawyers After Mar-a-Lago Raid)

However, until Judge Cannon officially grants Trump’s request the DOJ is entitled to continue its review of the materials.

A hearing is scheduled on Thursday to review Trump’s motion.

The Department’s filing provides the most complete look into the search and seizure of the Trump-related records yet.

Ex-NYPD Cop Accuses Department of Firing Him Over Support for ‘MAGA Ideals’

Anthony Quintano, CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

A former New York Police Department officer has accused the department of violating his First Amendment rights after being fired over of his support for “MAGA ideals” according to a new lawsuit filed in Brooklyn’s Federal Court.

Salvatore Greco, says he lost his job because of his right-wing political stance and also accused the NYPD of weaponizing his interpersonal relationships with former Donald Trump adviser Roger Stone and Kristin Davis. Greco was filmed attending the Jan. 6th rally however was never accused of entering the capitol building or committing any violence and he was not wearing his badge or carrying a weapon.

The Hill reports:

“Unfortunately, Mr. Greco’s case is not unusual in that the department has been engaging in these sorts of ‘political viewpoint’ hit jobs for more than forty (40) years. With these legal claims, Mr. Greco intends to shed light on the institutional problem and hold the city and the other defendants accountable for these actions,” said lawyer Eric Sanders in a statement.

In January 2021, the suit alleges Internal Affairs received an anonymous letter saying Greco and another cop attended the riots at Capitol Hill and “these officers want to have a civil war in America.” The Bureau launched an investigation and reviewed Greco’s phone, social media, and other personal accounts and eventually filed departmental charges in April, according to the filing.

The NYPD accused the former cop of “wrongfully and knowingly associating with persons, Roger Jason Stone, Jr., and Kristin M. Davis, reasonably believed to be engaged in, likely to engage in, or to have engaged in criminal activities,” the suit said.

In his court filing, Mr. Greco accuses the department of using an overly broad statement as a justification for his termination.

“This rule is ‘overbroad’ and its application is in contravention of the First Amendment and must be stricken,” says the court filing.

“The action taken against me has cost me my reputation, my job, and my life savings,” Greco said in a statement.”

Conservative Pundit Ann Coulter Declares ‘Trump is Done’

Former President of the United States Donald Trump speaking with attendees at the 2022 Student Action Summit at the Tampa Convention Center in Tampa, Florida. [Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons]

Is the Republican Party officially moving on from Donald Trump? According to conservative pundit and author Ann Coulter, the answer is a resounding “yes.”

In Coulter’s latest podcast of Unsafe aptly titled “Trump’s Done” she dives into the signs Republicans are moving away from the former president and how his influence in slowly but surely dwindling.

Throughout the podcast Coulter notes how Trump’s star has begun to fade, comparing the phenomenon to Sarah Palin who saw her rockstar status revoked following John McCain’s unsuccessful 2008 presidential campaign.

Coulter also noted Trump’s once-infamous rallies dwindling turnouts as further evidence he’s losing power within the GOP.

According to Mediaite:

“They’re like Deadheads,” Coulter said of those still running to MAGA rallies. “They’re following him from place to place. He sings the same songs.”

Loyalty among Trump “fanatics,” she added, is not “indicative of a movement sweeping the nation.” Coulter mentioned a pair of Stone emails she received from the Trump team. The first was an email “slamming” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), considered by many to be Trump’s biggest 2024 competition, should both men run for the Republican Party nomination. A second email, Coulter said, was Stone “backpedaling” on his criticism of DeSantis after he heard complaints from conservatives supportive of the governor.

Trump being “done” could be the message some politicians have been waiting to hear before wading into the 2024 presidential campaign arena. While the former President has made a habit of hinting at his potential presidential campaign some conservatives have held their breath in regard to their own political aspirations.

“Republicans, it’s not the party of Trump. It’s safe to come back, and it’s safe for Republicans to stand up and run without Donald Trump,” she said.

Former South Carolina governor and United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley previously said she would not launch a presidential campaign if Trump also were to run, and she’s likely not the only Republican sharing that mindset.

However, Coulter was careful to note that moving away from Trump isn’t necessarily a bad thing for the Party and predicted the GOP could still sweep the midterms.

“People are angry. Republicans are really angry. We are on a smooth glide path to really, really good midterm elections, and the only thing that can blow it is what probably will blow it: the Republican Party,” she said.

Ben Shapiro Points to Trump as Reason GOP is Losing Midterms Momentum

Ben Shapiro via Gage Skidmore Flickr

Conservative pundit and co-editor of The Daily Wire Ben Shapiro says former President Donald Trump is the reason Republicans are losing steam as they get closer to the November midterms finish line.

In a series of tweets, Shapiro said the Republican Party based its midterms strategy on a “miscalculation.”

“In fact, the entirety of American politics is based on dueling versions of the same false mythology: the Mythology of the Emerging Democratic Minority Majority (MEDMM),” Shapiro said on Twitter.

With less than 80 days until the midterm elections, Republicans are laser-focused on winning back the House from Democrats. However, even Mr. Shapiro noted that while Republicans remain poised to win back the House of Representatives it’s looking like it will happen with slimmer margins than previously predicted.

Last week’s Fox News power rankings predicted Republicans to win between 220 and 248 seats in the House, for a majority of between two and 30 seats. That’s less bullish on the GOP than the network’s July projection, which foresaw between 225 and 255 Republican House seats in the new Congress.

Shapiro concluded by warning that Republicans are playing exactly into Democrats’ hands.

Larry Hogan Sides With Biden, Says Republican Party is Filled With Signs of Fascism

Maryland GovPics, CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan (R) is siding with President Biden and attacking the GOP.

Last week while addressing a crowd in Maryland, President Biden accused the Republican Party-especially supporters of former President Donald Trump of “semi-fascism.” (Related: President Biden Labels MAGA Supporters as a ‘Threat to Democracy’)

However, instead of rushing to defend his own party Gov. Hogan sided with the President and agreed he sees signs of Authoritarianism within the GOP.

The Washington Examiner reports:

“Well, there’s no question we see some — some signs of [authoritarianism in the Republican Party]. And I’m, you know, one of the ones speaking out,” Hogan said in an interview on CBS’s Face the Nation.

“You know, I think it’s that kind of divisive rhetoric on both sides that’s really bad for America,” the Maryland governor said of Biden’s comments. “And, you know, I’ve been talking about the toxic politics, and if Republicans are calling Democrats ‘socialists’ and ‘communists’ and we have the president of the United States calling Republicans ‘fascist,’ I don’t think it adds to the overall discussion.”

“I mean, the fact that the president would go out and just insult half of America, because, effectively, half of America votes Republican, half of America ultimately votes Democrat — it swings a little bit one way or the other, but effectively, call half of America semi-fascist, because he’s trying to stir up controversy, he’s trying to stir up this anti-Republican sentiment right before the election, it’s just — it’s horribly inappropriate,” Sununu said. “It’s insulting. And people should be insulted by it. And he should apologize.”

Gov. Hogan is a longtime critic of former President Trump and has often been accused of being a RINO, a Republican in name only, by other conservatives.

On Monday, Fox News contributor Mollie Hemingway called President Biden’s comments on Republicans “more hateful” than anything said by former President Trump.

According to Mediaite:

The more that he experiences some of his own decline with his mental faculties, the more that jerkiness comes out. This is more hateful than the worst thing Donald Trump ever said, and it’s being said about tens of millions of Republicans. He trying to walk it back and say it’s only about Trump supporters. That’s just another word for saying Republicans. Republicans support their previous presidents, including the most recent president, and this is just incredibly dangerous, dangerous rhetoric that nobody who purports to lead a country should be saying against half the country.

Judge Signals ‘Preliminary’ Intent to Side with Trump’s Lawyers After Mar-a-Lago Raid

The White House from Washington, DC, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

On Saturday a federal District judge in Florida signed she is inclined to side with Donald Trump’s legal team’s request a special master be appointed to review the materials recovered from the FBI’s recent raid of the former president’s Mar-a-Lago residence.

On Aug. 8th, the FBI raided former president Trump’s residence to recover sensitive materials for the National Archives.

However, instead of fighting against U.S. District Judge Bruce Reinhart, the judge who approved the affidavit used to obtain the search warrant, Trump’s league team filed a motion for  District Judge Aileen M. Cannon to appoint a special master.

Law and Crime reports:

On Saturday evening, Judge Cannon replied that she was inclined to grant the request for a special master due to the “exceptional circumstances presented” by the events at Mar-a-Lago.  However, that inclination, she said, was “subject to an opportunity” for additional arguments by both sides, including the U.S. Government.

Next came a series of specific demands for “the defendant” — the U.S. Government.  Judge Cannon ordered the government to “publicly file a Response” to Trump’s list of demands on or before Tues., Aug. 30.

Additionally, Judge Cannon ordered the government to file under seal a “more detailed” list of the property seized during the Aug. 8 search and a “particularized notice indicating the status of Defendant’s review of the seized property, including any filter review conducted by the privilege review team and any dissemination of materials beyond the privilege review team.”

The documents requested by Judge Cannon must, per her order and “accordance with Rule 53,” explain the parties’ “respective and particularized positions on the duties and responsibilities of a prospective special master, along with any other considerations pertinent to the appointment of a special master in this case.”

Special Masters have been appointed to review allegedly privileged materials in other high-profile cases, including a search of Rudy Giuliani’s office and home.

Department of Justice Publishes Affidavit Used for FBI Raid on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Resort

    Marine One lifts-off after returning President Donald J. Trump to Mar-a-Lago Friday, March 29, 2019, following his visit to the 143-mile Herbert Hoover Dike near Canal Point, Fla., that surrounds Lake Okeechobee. The visit was part of an infrastructure inspection of the dike, which is part of the Kissimmee-Okeechobee Everglades system, and reduces impacts of flooding for areas of south Florida. (Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian) [Photo Credit: The White House from Washington, DC, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons]

    The Justice Department has officially released the redacted affidavit used to obtain the search warrant used by the FBI in its recent raid of former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence under the direction of U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart.

    A website where the federal judge in Florida is unsealing documents relating to the FBI’s raid is repeatedly crashing because of surging demand.

    “The government is conducting a criminal investigation concerning the improper removal and storage of classified information in unauthorized spaces, as well as the unlawful concealment or removal of government records,” the affidavit states. 

    Approximately 20 pages of the 38-page affidavit were either significantly or fully redacted.

    The FBI said it had “probable cause to believe” that records containing classified information, including National Defense Information, would be found within Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in addition to what he had previously turned over to the National Archives and Records Administration according to the document.

    Read the redacted affidavit below:

    Judge Bruce Reinhart gave the Justice Department until noon on Thursday to submit the redacted document after rejecting the Justice Department’s pressure to keep the record under seal.

    Fox News reports:

    Reinhart said that after reviewing the Justice Department’s redaction, the government “has met its burden of showing a compelling reason” and “good cause to seal portions of the Affidavit,” saying the disclosure would reveal “the identities of witnesses, law enforcement agents, and uncharged parties,” the investigation’s “strategy, direction, scope, sources, and methods, and “grand jury information” protected by federal rules. 

    Reinhart said that after reviewing the affidavit with redactions, he has determined that the Justice Department “has met its burden of showing that its proposed redactions are narrowly tailored to serve the Government’s legitimate interest in the integrity of the ongoing investigation and are the least onerous alternative to sealing the entire Affidavit.” 

    On Monday, Judge Reinhart wrote in a memo that he was inclined to make parts of the document public, saying it would “promote public understanding of historically significant events.” The DOJ pressured Reinhart to keep the document under wraps out of concern Trump supporters would retaliate against witnesses.

    Ahead of the affidavit’s release, Trump slammed the Justice Department’s “political hacks and thugs” in a statement shared to Truth Social.

    “The political hacks and thugs had no right under the Presidential Records Act to storm Mar-a-Lago and steal everything in sight including passports and privileged documents. They even broke into my safe with a safecracker – Can you believe?” Trump added. “This Act was created for a very good reason, and it works. We are right now living in a Lawless Country that just so happens to be, also, a Failing Nation!”

    When asked if national security could’ve been compromised by Trump’s handling of classified documents, Biden deferred to the ongoing investigation

    Trump has responded following the affidavit’s release calling for Judge Reinhart’s immediate recusal from the case.

    “Judge Bruce Reinhart should NEVER have allowed the Break-In of my home. He recused himself two months ago from one of my cases based on his animosity and hatred of your favorite President, me,” Trump wrote on his Truth social account. “What changed? Why hasn’t he recused himself on this case? Obama must be very proud of him right now!

    President Joe Biden dismissed claims from Trump that he broadly declassified the boxes of White House documents he took to Florida after leaving office.

    “I’ve declassified everything in the world. I’m president,” Biden said sarcastically, waving his hands in the air to reporters outside of the White House. “Come on.”

    Republican lawmakers have shared harsh reactions to the substantial redactions since the affidavit’s publication.

    Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs shared a screenshot of one of the heavily redacted pages and called for more transparency on this Twitter.

    North Carolina Congressman echoed calls for transparency in his own message.

    Conservative report Elijah Schafer shared a touch-and-cheek message about the redacted document as well.

    READ NEXT: President Biden Labels MAGA Supporters as a ‘Threat to Democracy’ >>

    President Biden Labels MAGA Supporters as a ‘Threat to Democracy’

    The White House, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

    President Joe Biden labeled Republicans on the ballot in this year’s midterm elections as a “threat to democracy” while at a campaign event in Maryland Thursday evening. 

    Touching on former President Trump and his “Make America Great Again” slogan Biden accused Republicans of wanting to send the country “backward.”

    According to The Hill:

    “Now you need to vote to literally save democracy again,” Biden told a large crowd at the Democratic National Committee rally in Rockville, Md., just outside of Washington, D.C. “Trump and the extreme MAGA Republicans have made their choice — to go backwards full of anger, violence, hate, and division. But we’ve chosen a different path forward, the future, unity, hope and optimism.”  

    “We choose to build a better America,” Biden said.  

    Throughout Biden’s speech, he also touched on accomplishments from his administration before circling back to Republicans. The President later attempted to separate what he labeled “MAGA Republicans” from “conservative Republicans” citing Maryland’s current Gov. Larry Hogan (R), as an example of the later. 

    “The MAGA Republicans don’t just threaten our personal rights and economic security. They’re a threat to our very democracy,” Biden said as he wrapped up his remarks. “They refuse to accept the will of the people. They embrace, embrace political violence. They don’t believe in democracy.” 

    “This is why in this moment, those of you that love this country — Democrats, independents, mainstream Republicans — we must be stronger, more determined, and more committed to saving America than the MAGA Republicans are destroying America,” he said.  

    This is hardly the first time President Biden has attacked supporters of the former president and attempted to label them as dangers to society. In May, Biden called MAGA the “most extreme political organization in history” following the leak of a Supreme Court draft that signaled the end of Roe v. Wade.

    “What are the next things that are going to be attacked? Because this MAGA crowd is really the most extreme political organization that’s existed in American history. In recent American history,” Biden told the crowd.

    On Friday, Biden’s White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre doubled down and defended the President’s comments calling Trump supporters fascists.