NEW YORK — Producers of “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” could probably use an invisibility cloak right now. On Monday the U.S. Twitter accounts for the two-part play based on an original story by J.K. Rowling, shared a pro-LGBTQ message — which included the colors of the transgender Pride flag. “Happy Pride Month from everyone at #CursedChild!” the tweet by the New York and San Francisco companies read. The attempt at honoring the LGBTQ community, however, was immediately criticized by users of the social media site, who saw the compliment as a tone-deaf attempt at capitalizing on Pride mo...
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On Monday, former solicitor general Neal Katyal took to Twitter to analyze the significance of the Justice Department's unwillingness to release the unredacted affidavit that helped them secure the search warrant for President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida.
One of the key points in the document, Katyal argued, will give Trump further cause for alarm.
"DOJ is appropriately resisting disclosure of the Mar-a-Lago search affidavit because it will compromise their ongoing investigation. This is very standard and right," wrote Katyal. "That said, what they said — especially about witnesses — will invariably drive Trump to be even more worried."
In the DOJ's filing, officials stated that the affidavit would require so many redactions as to be of little practical use to the public.
"Disclosure at this juncture of the affidavit supporting probable cause would ... cause significant and irreparable damage to this ongoing criminal investigation," said the filing. "As the Court is aware from its review of the affidavit, it contains, among other critically important and detailed investigative facts: highly sensitive information about witnesses, including witnesses interviewed by the government; specific investigative techniques; and information required by law to be kept under seal pursuant to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 6(e)."
This also comes as Trump and his allies reportedly are searching for a "mole" within Mar-a-Lago who may have worked with the FBI to give them information about where and what classified information might have been stashed on the former president's property.
The Independent is reporting that an insider of Donald Trump's community revealed that the ex-president was playing a kind of game of chicken with Attorney General Merrick Garland over possible illegal behavior.
A confidante spoke to the site about that the distinction between the latest scandal and previous ones where he went up against the Justice Department.
"They suggested that the rapidly changing excuses emanating from Trumpworld reflects his inner circle’s lack of capacity to handle what could end up being the first-ever criminal indictment of a former president," the report explained.
One point that the Independent makes is that Trump doesn't have the top-tier lawyers that he once did as the president during the Russia probe.
“He's not even lined up with the best legal team to defend him in this situation. He's run through all the attorneys who would take one for him,” a former Trump administration and campaign official told the site.
The ever-evolving excuses have become a point of conversation on cable news, but also mockery among social media activists claiming the ex-president can't get his story straight.
Meanwhile, Trump doesn't fully understand the seriousness of the situation, the piece claimed. People around him are divided into two opinions: those that know it's serious and those who think Garland would never act on a former president.
“He doesn’t think Garland has the balls to truly take him on,” the Trump insider said. “And the people who think this is a political problem are drowning out the ones who actually understand how this stuff works.”
TOPEKA — Anti-abortion activist Mark Gietzen expressed confidence Monday that $229,000 would be secured to finance a hand recount of more than 920,000 votes cast statewide on a proposed amendment to the Kansas Constitution restricting the right to abortion.
The Kansas Secretary of State’s Office set a 5 p.m. Monday deadline for delivery of cash, check or credit card with a sufficient line of credit to proceed with the county-by-county recount sought by supporters of the amendment disappointed by the initial outcome. The amendment fell short in the Aug. 2 primary election by a landslide margin of 59% to 41%.
Gietzen, chairman of the Kansas Coalition for Life in Wichita and a prominent participant in anti-abortion protests in Wichita for more than 30 years, said he would pick up the torch of the recount effort launched by Colby resident Melissa Leavitt.
“There are an abundance of resources to get this done,” Gietzen said.
Gietzen also alleged — without evidence — the Kansas election earlier this month was distorted by “massive” election fraud through “ballot harvesting.” He asserted people illegally obtained, filled out and deposited ballots in drop boxes. He had filed a lawsuit in Sedgwick County before the August primary in an attempt to stop use of drop boxes, but it was tossed by a judge.
Gietzen said the recount of votes on the amendment in all 105 counties would be conducted “unless we get screwed over by the secretary of state.”
Originally, Gietzen offered a credit card of a conservative political organization to leverage the recount. Leavitt later she was grateful Gietzen agreed to “put his home up for the recount,” but encouraged others to continue donating to the cause.
Leavitt informed the Secretary of State’s Office at 4 a.m. Monday that Gietzen’s assets would be sufficient to cover a recount.
In a setback for the recount campaign, however, Leavitt was notified that she couldn’t rely on the value of Gietzen’s home to finance the recount.
Under state law, the person requesting the recount must file a bond, approved by the secretary of state, guaranteeing payment of all costs incurred by counties conducting a recount.
Leavitt had until end of the business Monday to personally secure a pathway to $229,000 required to proceed with the challenge. Through an online fundraiser, Leavitt had received commitments of $29,900, or about 10% of the projected cost of the statewide review of ballots.
“Failure to do so will result in the recount request being cancelled,” said Brian Caskey, director of elections for Secretary of State Scott Schwab.
In the alternative, Caskey said, Leavitt could amend her recount request to isolate the review to counties for which she could afford to pay the cost.
Ashley All, spokeswoman for the amendment opponent organization Kansans for Constitutional Freedom, said basis for the hypothetical recount was unclear.
“Kansans across the political spectrum voted overwhelmingly against this amendment,” All said. “In fact, 165,000 more Kansans voted ‘no.’ They sent a clear message that they want to protect the constitutional rights of women to make private medical decisions for themselves.”
Leavitt said she would continue to pray a miracle occurred in terms of advancing recount on the failed abortion amendment.
“What else can you do when you take a leap of faith? I don’t know,” she said on a social media thread. “I’m getting a lot of hate messages and stuff like that, but so far I’m doing OK and we’re going to keep pushing.”
On Monday, officials in Johnson, Shawnee and Sedgwick counties worked to certify election election results. That included votes for and against the constitutional amendment, which was sought to nullify a decision by the Kansas Supreme Court that a right to abortion existed in the Kansas Constitution.
Kansas Reflector is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Kansas Reflector maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Sherman Smith for questions: email@example.com. Follow Kansas Reflector on Facebook and Twitter.