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'Incredibly powerful': ex-federal prosecutor explains why Trump should be worried about tapes
The audio recording in which Donald Trump can reportedly be heard discussing a classified document should worry the former president in part because of the nature of that medium when it comes to a jury, a former U.S. Attorney said Wednesday evening.
Joyce Vance, speaking on MSNBC's The 11th Hour With Stephanie Ruhle, was asked if the newly reported audio tapes represented a "huge deal" in Jack Smith's investigation into Trump's actions surrounding the documents.
"I think you are right, it is a huge deal and it is tough based on what we know right now to assess exactly what it meant," Vance told the host. "Is this a whole new charge that Smith will be able to bring against trump?"
Vance noted that, at the very least, the article describes retention of a document.
"It doesn't have to be classified under the Espionage Act. It's enough that its national defense information. But this is both," she added. "So it could be a separate charge."
However, she added that the audio recording could be most powerful in terms of a jury trial.
"It's also powerful, unbelievably powerful to play a tape recording for a jury and to have them here the defendants essentially confess that he knew that he could not de-classify information on the spot," she said. "Also that he had retained classified material after leaving the presidency."
Vance also noted that this event is unique because it happened in Bedminster, not Mar-a-Lago.
"There's always been some confusion about what precisely the role of Bedminster in storage or post-presidency is for Trump. We've all seen pictures of boxes but we don't know what was and then that were transported from Mar-a-Lago to Bedminster on roughly a timeline that was consistent with DOJ letting Trump know that they were aware he continue to have possession of these items. So lots of potential uses for this information, all good for the prosecution."
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Ron DeSantis touts permit-free concealed carry law just after mass shooting in Florida
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday sent out a fundraising request in which his campaign highlighted a rule that "allows Floridians to carry concealed weapons without a government-issued permission slip" — just two days after a mass shooting near a beach in Florida.
Ron DeSantis for President sent the email, which touted the policy positions and state-level accomplishments of DeSantis. The email subject line was "My email is less than 400 words," yet the contents of the email contained more than 2,000 words.
Among the accomplishments listed in the fundraising email was that DeSantis has purportedly defended "Second Amendment rights."
IN OTHER RELATED NEWS: Far-right lawmakers escalate threats to boot McCarthy from Speakership after debt deal passage
He "[e]nacted constitutional carry that allows Floridians to carry concealed weapons without a government-issued permission slip," according to the email.
The email was sent Wednesday, which was two days after a Memorial Day shooting which resulted in nine injuries.
Far-right lawmakers escalate threats to boot McCarthy from Speakership after debt deal passage
Kevin McCarthy is not out of the woods yet.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) cleared a massive challenge on Wednesday when he managed to deliver just enough votes from the Republican caucus, along with a large cohort of Democrats, to pass the landmark debt ceiling and deficit reduction agreement he brokered with President Joe Biden, which is now expected to move quickly through the Senate and avert a national default after weeks of tense bipartisan negotiations.
But now he faces another potential obstacle, reported The Daily Beast: the far-right wing of the House GOP, who is enraged the deal happened at all — and want McCarthy to suffer for it.
"Instead of exiting debt ceiling negotiations with President Joe Biden hoisting a triumphant deal, McCarthy came out with something lukewarm. A narrow addition of work requirements for food stamp recipients between the ages of 50 and 54. Ending the pause on federal student loan payments. A suspension of the debt limit until 2025. Minimal spending caps for two years that would only technically cut spending if you consider the increases relative to inflation," reported Ursula Perano and Sam Brodey. "The deal passed Wednesday night 314-117, with 149 Republicans and 165 Democrats voting for it, and 71 Republicans and 46 Democrats voting no. Republicans control the House, but it was Democrats who primarily got the measure across the finish line."
As a result of this, some far-right lawmakers are ramping up threats to use a parliamentary procedure to force a confidence vote to eject McCarthy from the Speakership — something he was, ironically, forced to put in the rules in order to get the votes necessary to become Speaker in the first place.
IN OTHER RELATED NEWS: Conservative firebrand Matt Gaetz declares Dems big winners in debt ceiling fight
Some lawmakers, like Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), had been making threats of this sort even before the vote happened — but for now, said the report, few in the caucus have treated this as a serious possibility. Another is Rep. Dan Bishop (R-NC), who said, “He’s blown Republican unity to smithereens. So, you can put that in terms of trust, if you want to. It’s just something that is functionally destroyed.”
"The good news for McCarthy is that it would take more than just one Republican to remove him from his position. The bad news is that it wouldn’t take much more than a half-dozen — if Democrats want to cooperate with the coup," said the report. "The slim GOP majority in the House means that McCarthy has very little wiggle room. And even if 95 percent of his conference is behind him, that last five percent could sink him."
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