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Legal experts condemn Trump effort to censor Bolton book as ‘affront’ to First Amendment

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Free speech advocacy group PEN America filed a legal brief Friday condemning the ongoing effort by President Donald Trump’s White House to block former national security adviser John Bolton’s forthcoming book as a politically motivated and dangerous assault on the First Amendment.

“It is not difficult to see what is going on: The president is employing the apparatus of the federal government to punish his political enemies, thwart freedom of speech, and pursue his political interests in an election year.”
—PEN America

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“A free society cannot abide the government silencing certain perspectives before they are even uttered; such censorship runs contrary to the very notion of what our First Amendment was written to guard against,” Nora Benavidez, PEN America’s director of U.S. free expression programs, said in a statement.

“Any result other than dismissal in this case will be an affront to Bolton’s First Amendment right to speak and to all of our rights as members of the public and as readers to learn about his views,” Benavidez added. “We’ll continue to fight these censorship tactics for our writer members and their readers.”

The brief (pdf) comes days after the U.S. Justice Department filed a lawsuit attempting to delay publication of Bolton’s book, which is set for release on June 23. On Wednesday, the Justice Department asked Judge Royce Lamberth of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to issue an emergency injunction halting distribution of the book, asserting that it contains classified information. Lamberth is set to hear arguments in the case on Friday.

In its brief, PEN calls on Lamberth to deny the Justice Department’s injunction request, calling it an unlawful prior restraint “on speech and on the press.”

“PEN America supports the First Amendment right of public employees to produce works that are critical of the government, and of readers to receive their unique perspective unfettered by government censorship,” the brief states. “It is not difficult to see what is going on: The president is employing the apparatus of the federal government to punish his political enemies, thwart freedom of speech, and pursue his political interests in an election year.”

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Trump Organization planning ‘high-end’ retirement community — with 225 properties — on foreign soil: report

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The Trump Organization is planning a massive real estate development, according to a new report by Martyn McLaughlin in The Scotsman.

"In what would be one of the most ambitious and expensive foreign projects undertaken by Donald Trump’s family business since he assumed the presidency, his company has commissioned a detailed masterplan to develop as many as 225 properties, as well as leisure facilities and shops, on an expanse of rolling farmland adjacent to Turnberry’s lauded Ailsa course, a four-time host of golf’s Open Championship," the Scottish newspaper reported.

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WATCH: Video shows how Trump makes his caddie hang on to the back of the golf cart

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Despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and economic catastrophe, the leader of the free world spent the weekend golfing at his private, for-profit golf course in Virginia.

For the second day in a row, Donald Trump's presidential motorcade traveled to Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Virginia.

"Today marks the president’s 86th day trip to Sterling," reported HuffPost correspondent S.V. Dáte, who was the White House pool reporter for print covering the day's events.

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NRA slammed for saying AR-15 rifles are just ‘an everyday gun for everyday citizens’

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The debate over firearms in America heated up over the weekend as AR-15 trended nationwide on Twitter.

The discussion followed a tweet by the National Rifle Association praising firearms platform, which are widely referred to as assault rifles.

"The AR-15 is the modern day musket," the NRA tweeted. "An everyday gun for everyday citizens."

David Hogg, who co-founded "A March for Our Lives" after surviving a mass shooting at his high school in Parkland, Florida was one of man people who slammed the NRA.

6 minutes 20 seconds Is all it took for the shooter at my high school to fire over 100 rounds from his AR-15 to shoot 34 people.

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