CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Federal prosecutors want a North Carolina man to serve a month in prison for his role in U.S. Capitol riot. First, James “Les” Little has to kick COVID-19. The former truck driver from Claremont began showing flulike symptoms on Jan. 28 and tested positive for the virus shortly afterward, according to a court filing Friday from his federal public defender, Peter Adolf of Charlotte. Claremont is about 45 miles northwest of Charlotte, in Catawba County. Little, who public records show to be in his early 50s, last received medical treatment on Thursday, his attorney wrote. He’s ...
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In the wake of the FBI's raid on Mar-a-Lago in search of classified documents allegedly taken from the White House by Donald Trump at the end of his term, the former president and his allies have claimed he had a "standing order" to declassify documents he took. But according to 18 former top Trump administration officials speaking to CNN, the claim is false.
"Nothing approaching an order that foolish was ever given," said John Kelly, who served as Trump's chief of staff. "And I can't imagine anyone that worked at the White House after me that would have simply shrugged their shoulders and allowed that order to go forward without dying in the ditch trying to stop it."
Mick Mulvaney, who succeeded Kelly as acting White House chief of staff, told CNN he was "not aware of a general standing order."
According to CNN, one official after another rejected the claim of a standing order.
"Total nonsense," one senior White House official said. "If that's true, where is the order with his signature on it? If that were the case, there would have been tremendous pushback from the Intel Community and DoD, which would almost certainly have become known to Intel and Armed Services Committees on the Hill."
"Trump and his allies have made a wide range of claims about declassification in the days after the FBI's August 8 search of Mar-a-Lago, which resulted in federal agents seizing 11 sets of classified documents -- including some marked with the highest levels of classification," CNN's report stated. "On his social media platform Truth Social last week, Trump made the sweeping claim that the documents in the boxes seized by the FBI at his home were 'all declassified.'"
Republican candidates are seeking to shut the press out of events and voters are the ultimate losers, according to a Washington Post editorial published online on Thursday.
"More often than before, newsworthy gatherings are not announced ahead of time, and reporters find out they occurred only when pictures get posted to social media or a news release is sent out later. For traditional outlets, interviews with many candidates have become harder to secure. Some campaigns don’t even return calls or emails," the editorial board wrote. "These trends don’t just hinder media coverage. They also insulate would-be leaders from tough questions and thorny issues. Mostly, they hurt voters by leaving them less informed."
The editorial noted the "worst offenders" come from the Republican Party's MAGA wing.
"Sarah Palin, a former governor and vice-presidential nominee, announced no public events in Alaska between a rally that former president Donald Trump headlined for her in Anchorage on July 9 and the special election that took place Tuesday," the editorial board noted. "In Pennsylvania, gubernatorial nominee Doug Mastriano’s campaign has physically barred reporters from entering events. Other candidates, such as Georgia U.S. Senate hopeful Herschel Walker, have also been extremely unavailable."
The newspaper noted a shocking situation with Charlie Kirk's far-right Turning Point Action.
"On Friday, Mr. DeSantis is to travel to Ohio to stump with Republican Senate candidate J.D. Vance," the editorial board reported. "The organizers of the event, a conservative nonprofit called Turning Point Action, are requiring that journalists applying for credentials agree to give organizers access to any footage they record and be willing to answer questions about how it will be used. Journalists who attend are restricted from recording speakers, staff and attendees who do not wish to be filmed and from going into certain areas of the event. They also are barred from recording anything displayed on projection screens."
The editorial noted "understandable outrage" from Ohio television stations.
"Media organizations record these events for the benefit of voters, as well as for history. They should be allowed to do their jobs unencumbered," the editorial urged.
Read the full editorial.
Michael Cohen's latest book, "Revenge: How Donald Trump Weaponized the Department of Justice Against His Critics," goes into detail about Allen Weisselberg, who pleaded guilty in court on Thursday. Weisselberg will be sent to prison for about five months in New York's Rikers Island and fined $1.9 million.
Cohen was accused by Weisselberg of being "vengeful" and handing over documents to the district attorney. The New York Daily News reported Weisselberg's attorney, Mary Mulligan, accused then-District Attorney Cy Vance of using Cohen as their main source of information to indict Weisselberg. While Cohen may turn over information to any investigator who asked for it, the reality is the DA's indictment of Weisselberg had nothing to do with Cohen.
DA Alvin Bragg explained that the prosecutors in the Weisselberg case had never even been briefed on the information Cohen gave to them. In May, when Bragg filed his 129-page court document on Weisselberg, Cohen told Raw Story, "this might be the right time for Weisselberg to think about cooperating."
“Weisselberg fails and fails miserably in his vengeful witness defense in the fact that I never testified before the grand jury against him," said Cohen at the time. Assistant District Attorney Solomon Shinerock's "opposition papers clearly demonstrate that the Trump methodology of lying and blaming others only works for Trump; all others get jail time."
Last week, CNN effectively confirmed the concerns about Weisselberg's casual relationship with the truth. New York prosecutors revealed to the press that they started to suspect that Weisselberg was lying to them.
The over 40-year employee of the Trump Organization scored cars, private school tuition and other gifts from former President Donald Trump.
“This case, at its core, is ordinary,” Shinerock was quoted saying in the New York Daily News in May. “It arises from the fact that Allen Weisselberg violated the basic imperative that all New Yorkers faithfully report and pay tax on their income.”
In his new book, Cohen makes a contrast between himself and Weisselberg.
"Allen was included in everything—not for his legal mind or his strategic abilities, but because he controlled all of the money," the book details. "In every financial transaction, legitimate or otherwise, Weisselberg was somehow involved. My role? I was dispatched to clean up messes created by others in the company. Allen’s role? Make the numbers look good."
He goes on to say Weisselberg is the "real liar" and recalled that Weisselberg lied about the hush-money payments to Stormy Daniels. That information was then used against Cohen while Weisselberg was granted immunity.
Though, Cohen has maintained that neither he nor Weisselberg were as powerful as the head guy: Donald Trump.
"Everything, and I mean everything, was the responsibility of, and all actions were conducted at the direction of Donald Trump for his benefit," Cohen's book also says. "You cannot separate the man from the company any more than you can split yourself in half."