CHICAGO — The alleged hoax attack on actor Jussie Smollett may not have been caught on camera, but his upcoming sentencing in a Cook County courtroom will be. Reversing his previous order, Judge James Linn on Friday ruled that news cameras will be allowed into his courtroom at the Leighton Criminal Court Building when Smollett is sentenced on March 10. Cameras had been barred during the actor’s high-profile trial last year. Linn also had initially denied a request for cameras at sentencing, but changed his mind after a hearing Thursday at which an attorney representing local news stations urge...
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Republicans would rather think 'demonic forces' control America than accept nonwhites as equals: Maddow
On MSNBC Friday, Rachel Maddow walked through one of the key reasons why anti-Semitism is becoming so popular within certain corners of the GOP — and why it is such an easy ideology for authoritarians and opponents of democracy to push.
Simply put, she argued, far-right Republicans understand many of their views are unpopular — and so it's a convenient narrative to believe that the voters who are against them have been manipulated by some higher force, which in this case would be the Jews.
"As America and the whole West becomes more secular, people are replacing it with this need to have, someone is orchestrating the things going wrong in my life," said anchor Joy Reid. "I'm not talking about people who are openly Nazis at all. I'm saying there's a common vernacular on the right that is the globalists, right, they can't just be that more people like to vote for Democrats. George Soros is orchestrating this. It can't be that Black people wanted civil rights. The Jews are tricking them and making them want civil rights. It feels like that's a common theme ... and unfortunately, the train that's never late is that it's the Jews. It's the Jewish people getting attacked."
"Always," said Maddow. "Anti-Semitism and authoritarianism are always sistered together. Always, always, always. When you see not only a rise in the expression of anti-Semitism but a sort of mainstreaming of it, and one of the major political parties of our two-party governing system flirting with it in a way that doesn't immediately get denounced throughout the political system, like that, there isn't a surprise I think that that's going with the sort of proto-authoritarian movements you're seeing in that party. Those things always go together."
Fundamentally, Maddow added, "the American democratic experiment is that a country that is made up of all different kinds of people, from all over the place, all get an equal say" — and outside of these far right corners, "it's hard to argue we don't want American democracy anymore."
"Democracy is uncomfortable because we don't like everybody having a say," said Maddow. "We prefer that just we have a say. It's easier to say, our country has been hijacked by demonic forces and shady people behind the scenes that you can't see. That always lends itself to anti-Semitism, or toward whatever kind of cabal you want to imagine. But at its core, it's just something you hide behind when what you don't want is to participate as an equal citizen with others who are different than you in a group decision-making process. You don't get to be in charge. You just get to be a citizen among many. For people who don't want that, the idea is where they often first go."
Joy Reid and Rachel Maddow on anti-Semitism www.youtube.com
'Moral coward' Republicans will stay silent about Trump — even as he's facing indictment: John Brennan
On Friday's edition of MSNBC's "Deadline: White House," former CIA Director John Brennan slammed the Republican Party as "moral cowards" for sticking by former President Donald Trump through all of his ugly behavior and scandals.
And all of that could put Republicans in a deep bind if Trump ends up indicted in the federal investigation of classified documents stashed at his Mar-a-Lago resort, he continued.
"Some of those items might have been benign, but what I'm worried about are those top-secret documents that are critically important to our national security," said Brennan. "And he seemed to treat all of these items with that callous disregard, believing that he had the ability and was entitled to keep them in whatever manner he wanted. And so again, I think this just underscores just how irresponsible and reckless he was throughout his presidency. This has come to light, but just imagine some of the stories that some of those advisers could tell should they want to about what he actually did with this nation's secrets."
"Do you think we'll ever find out?" asked anchor Nicolle Wallace.
"I don't think we'll find out everything, but I'm hoping that there's going to be accountability for what I do believe is criminal responsibility on Donald Trump's part," said Brennan. "And I'm still shocked that today, there's any American that supports him or has even the slightest bit of respect for him. But if he is going to be indicted and going to be convicted, I think it will make it much more difficult for a lot of these Republicans in Congress, these moral cowards, who continue to not talk about him in real terms, in terms of what he has done to this country."
"So, again, if we can — if the courts are going to find him guilty of this criminal behavior, I think it will block his path to the presidency once again," Brennan added. "But I think it will clearly expose just how irresponsible, reckless he was when he was at the White House."
John Brennan calls Republicans "moral cowards" www.youtube.com
GOP judges 'dragged Judge Cannon through the mud' — and upheld the law she flouted: Watergate prosecutor
On Friday's edition of MSNBC's "The ReidOut," former Watergate prosecutor Jill Wine-Banks analyzed the Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit's decision ending the special master review of documents seized by the FBI from former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago country club in Palm Beach, Florida.
The decision was not just a blow to Trump, said Wine-Banks, but also to District Judge Aileen Cannon herself, a Trump appointee who went out on a limb to order the review against all precedent, only to be unanimously dismissed by a panel of three deeply conservative Republican-appointed judges, including two other Trump appointees.
"What did you make of that ruling?" asked anchor Joy Reid.
"Everything in the opinion — and it's a per curiam, which means all three judges agreed to everything in it, it's not signed by any one in particular. And that includes the Chief [Judge] of the Eleventh Circuit, Judge Pryor, who is from one of the most conservative backgrounds ever. All three are Republican appointees. And they all basically said the law is the law, and we are sticking with the law. They said none of the things that the judge did, Judge Cannon, have any relevance to the cases that we have ever seen before. And it would entitle every single person who has ever had a search to do the same thing, because we cannot carve out just for one person, a man named Donald Trump. He does not get anything special."
The decision, Wine-Banks concluded, was "really a victory for our system of justice, for the rule of law."
"It was a very well-written opinion," she said. "And it ... dragged Judge Cannon through the mud. It really slapped her down. At every opportunity they could, they just made it clear that she was completely off the mark."
Jill Wine-Banks says Republican judges "slapped down" Aileen Cannon www.youtube.com