By Joseph Tanfani and Jason Szep (Reuters) - When lawyers asked Donald Trump more than a decade ago to identify who estimated values on some of his signature properties, he shrugged and pointed to his longtime accountant, Allen Weisselberg. “I think ultimately probably Mr. Weisselberg,” he said, testifying in 2007 in a defamation lawsuit he brought against a journalist, a case that hinged on whether Trump had inflated the value of his business empire. “I never got too much involved, other than I would give my opinion.” A judge dismissed that suit, but Trump’s comments illustrate the challenges...
One of the most experienced former White House staffers in America warned of the unraveling of America during a Saturday appearance on CNN.
David Gergen served as director of speechwriting for President Richard Nixon, communications director for Presidents Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan, and counselor to the president under Bill Clinton.
CNN's Pamela Brown said, "as someone who has advised so many presidents, who cares so much about American democracy, how concerned are you about the future U.S. elections with this backdrop of the 'Big Lie'?"
"I'm very concerned," Gergen replied.
"I think that we're in more, we're in potentially more danger than we were six months ago, a year ago. Listen, the bleakest scenario is that all the efforts that are being made now between Democrats and Republicans on where we're going to go on the economy and pandemic, you know, that all these talks may collapse and we in government may be seen as dysfunctional," he explained.
"The Republicans then use this in 2022 to take back the House and set themselves up for 2024. Trump could go on as crazy as he is now, he gets crazier as it goes along. You can see all this coming together at an outcome in 2024," he continued.
"If Trump were to be re-elected, all hell is going to break loose in this country. On the other hand, if his supporters think it's been stolen from him after 2024, all hell could break loose on that side, too. So I think we're in pretty treacherous territory right now," Gergen warned.
"Those are not very good options you just laid out there, David Gergen," Brown said. "Pretty terrifying."
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Saturday warned "the next few days will be a time of intensity" as the House of Representatives rushes to pass a slew of bills by the end of September.
In a "dear colleague" letter written to members of the Democratic Caucus, Pelosi argued Democrats to one week to "pass a Continuing Resolution, Build Back Better Act and the BIF" (Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework).
She said "September 30th is a date fraught with meaning."
Pelosi explained both the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework and the reconciliation bill were key to delivering President Joe Biden's agenda.
"We must pass the BIF to avoid the expiration of the surface transportation funding on September 30. And we must stay on schedule to pass the reconciliation bill so that we can Build Back Better," she explained. "The Build Back Better Act is a jobs bill for the future: addressing the empowerment of women in the workplace and creating good-paying green jobs by tackling the climate crisis. The jobs initiatives relating to child care, home health care, paid family and medical leave, universal pre-K and more are transformative."
Pelosi announced the Democratic Caucus will meet on Monday at 5:30 p.m.
Pro-Trump website host subpoenaed by law enforcement following Jan 6 Capitol attack: hacked documents
Researchers of online extremism were given a treasure trove of information following the hack and release of documents from Epik, a provider of internet services which rose to prominence working for those who had been kicked off other platforms.
"The breach of Epik's internal records has cast a spotlight on a long-hidden corner of the Internet's underworld, and researchers expect it could take months before they can process the full cache — the equivalent of tens of millions of pages. Many are digging for information on who owns and administers extremist domains about which little was previously known," The Washington Post reported Saturday.
Extremism researcher Heidi Beirich, co-founder of the nonprofit Global Project Against Hate and Extremism, explained the importance of the lead to the newspaper.
"This is like the mother of all data lodes because Epik was at the center of so many of the extremist websites and organizations that people like me study. Epik was the place of last refuge for a lot of these sites," said Beirich, co-founder of the nonprofit Global Project Against Hate and Extremism. "And as the data is analyzed and looked at more deeply, we're going to see this ecosystem in a way that was simply not possible before."
The leak is also shedding light on the law enforcement response to the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol by supporters of Donald Trump seeking to overturn the 2020 election, which was won by Joe Biden.
"The data includes internal memos describing apparent subpoenas from law-enforcement agencies for information about Epik-registered websites, including two domains, Thedonald.win and Maga.host, in the weeks after the Capitol riot on Jan. 6," the newspaper reported. "One of the internal notes, which appeared to have been written by an Epik employee, mentions a grand jury subpoena, a request to preserve records for 90 days and a nondisclosure order — a court-approved document that law enforcement can secure to prohibit tech companies from telling customers what information they'd shared as part of an investigation. 'DO NOT tell Registrant,' read the note, which did not include further details of the investigation."
Read the full report.
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