CHICAGO — Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx had not yet seen the footage of 13-year-old Adam Toledo’s fatal shooting at the time prosecutors were giving their first description of his killing by police, Foxx told The Chicago Tribune on Thursday. And, contrary to what Foxx said was standard practice in such high-profile cases, she did not review the words of that now-controversial description before it was read in court. “I recognize the significant public interest in this case, the horrific end of a life for a 13-year-old boy at the time when police engagement is under tremendous scrutiny,...
Mark Meadows insists Ron DeSantis won't challenge Trump in 2024 -- after straw polls show he could win
Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows tamped down rumors of a Ron DeSantis presidential run after the Florida governor beat Donald Trump in a straw poll.
DeSantis narrowly edged out Trump, 75-72, in a 2024 straw poll conducted over the weekend at the Western Conservative Summit, but Meadows insisted to Yahoo News that the governor wouldn't challenge his former boss.
"Gov. DeSantis has made it very, very clear that he is running for reelection as governor of Florida, but he doesn't shy away from being very bold in terms of the initiatives that he's putting forth," Meadows said. "His reelect for governor is a platform to show that the policies, and the boldness, and, quite frankly, the courage."
Meadows recently spent three days in California with DeSantis, who has been traveling the country for fundraisers that may help him build a national network for a potential presidential bid -- whether that comes in a Trump-less field in 2024 or beyond.
"You know, I think Ron DeSantis is identified across the country now for the courage that he shows for conservative solutions, and he would be the first to say that if President Trump gets in, that he would win the nomination and would clear the field, and so I don't ever see it being a 2016 primary scenario," Meadows said. "That being said, Gov. DeSantis won't even — he's asked over and over and over again every time I'm in his presence — he's been asked, 'Are you running in 2024?'"
"His answer has been consistent: He is running for reelection for governor of the state that not only he loves, but one that is, quite frankly, well run because of his leadership," Meadows added.
As Princeton historian Kevin Kruse writes at MSNBC, Cruz's comparison is nonsensical given that critical race theory is an academic concept while the KKK was a terrorist organization that has been responsible for political violence throughout the United States.
What's more, Kruse notes that the Texas senator's attempt to equate critical race theory with the KKK echoes arguments made in the 1950s and 1960s by segregationist politicians who would often argue that the Klan and civil rights activists were both two sides of the same extremism coin.
"In Louisiana, Democratic Governor Russell Long in 1956 blamed racial troubles in his state on 'extremists' he saw in both the NAACP, which was seeking enforcement of the Supreme Court's rulings against school segregation, and the White Citizens' Councils, which was working furiously to block its implementation," writes Kruse. "In South Carolina, Judge J. Henry Johnson told a grand jury in 1958 that both sides of the civil rights struggle were to blame for racial turmoil in the region. 'The NAACP is just as bad as the KKK,' the segregationist asserted, because he believed both as 'violence inciting organizations.'"
Kruse argues that equating the NAACP with the KKK is a deliberate attempt by people who favor maintaining the racial status quo to position racist policies as a sensible middle ground between two polar extremes.
"It's bad enough that Cruz slanders [critical race theorists]," Kruse concludes. "But it's even worse that he uses the exact same line of argument against them that those segregationists did."
Former President Donald Trump is taking the saying "keep your friends close and your enemies closer," to heart. The Washington Post reported Monday that instead of hanging out at his Bedminster golf club, Trump is holding up in Trump Tower to keep an eye on his CFO Allen Weisselberg as rumors of indictments loom.
The New York Times reported last week that sources close to the Manhattan District Attorney's office say Weisselberg's indictment on tax issues will come any time within the next few months. The Washington Post reported that last week, Weisselberg's blue Mercedes slipped into the private garage at Trump Tower, about 40 minutes after Trump too arrived.
"Every day that Weisselberg arrives for work at Trump Tower — as he did that day, steering in from his Upper West Side apartment across town — could be seen as a public signal that he is sticking with Trump and deflecting investigators' advances," wrote The Post.
The DA's office impaneled a grand jury that will meet three days a week for six months, which is considerably longer than most grand juries work.
Weisselberg's former daughter-in-law has appeared on television for the past several weeks explaining her own cooperation with the DA's office and giving insight into what she thinks Weissleberg will do. According to Jennifer Weisselberg, there's no way her former father-in-law will spend the rest of his life in jail for Donald Trump.
"Yet officials involved in the Weisselberg investigation have grown frustrated about what they view as a lack of cooperation from Weisselberg and believe he continues to regularly speak with Trump, according to a person familiar with the inquiry," The Post reported.
The Post cited Tristan Snell, the former New York attorney general's office lawyer who led the 2016 investigation into Trump University saying, "Just to say 'He's the money man' actually underestimates his role. He was more than that even. He was the whole enchilada. Allen Weisselberg really ran the whole company."
Given Trump's refusal to write anything down or use email, personal accounts will be key in the investigation into whether he defrauded banks and the government to artificially inflate or deflate his assets.
"Without Weisselberg's cooperation, legal experts say, it's unclear whether prosecutors would be able to establish any required intent on Trump's part were they to allege that the Trump Organization or any of its officers committed crimes. (The district attorney has the option to indict companies rather than individuals)," The Post explained.
According to Michael Cohen, the one-time Trump lawyer who was thrown under the bus for Trump's hush-money payments to former lovers, Trump has been lying on his taxes for a very long time and Weisselberg knows everything. He could be the one to throw Trump to the legal wolves if it comes down to the two of them.
Cohen infamously described what Weisselberg is going through, noting that the Trump family is likely promising that they'll take care of him and that he's family. In the end, however, when it comes down to the Weisselberg or the Trump family, they'll protect their own over the CFO, just as they did with Cohen.
"I think he's playing Russian roulette with the district attorney's office if he thinks that even if he is indicted he is going to get a pass," the Post cited New York defense lawyer Robert C. Gottlieb, who previously served as a prosecutor for the district attorney's office. "We're not talking about fraud involving a few thousand dollars, we're talking about allegations of a massive fraud involving millions of dollars over an extended period of time in which he was CFO."
Criminal defense attorney Earl Ward told The Post that someone like Weisselberg could easily walk away with a slap on the wrist, but it isn't likely to happen in Weisselberg's case. "Only because of the real target in this investigation," which is Donald Trump.
"Typically in state court in New York County if you're charged with a financial crime and you're a rich millionaire you're not going to go to jail — it rarely happens," he continued. "The difference here is that there's a real target in this investigation and given who that target is, I'd be surprised if [Weisselberg] gets off scot free."
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