On Tuesday, every U.S. senator is expected to be sworn in as jurors in the second impeachment trial of Donald Trump and, according to USA Today, the former president will face a slew of accusations and possibly witnesses against him but won't have much help on his own side.
With former Trump impeachment lawyers Ken Starr, Alan Dershowitz and former White House counsel Pat Cipollone out of the picture this go around, the former president will be relying on attorney Butch Bowers of South Carolina who once represented former GOP lawmaker Mark Sanford during an impeachment trial (which he won) but later turned into an ethics probe.
Outside of Bowers, Trump will find his support slim with many GOP senators taking a hands-off approach while at the same time indicating that they will likely not impeach the former president.
As one GOP consultant explained, Trump is thin on support because he is considered damaged goods and doesn't have the weight of still being president to use as reason to join his team.
According to Alex Conant, a GOP strategist who worked for Sen. Marco Rubio's 2016 presidential campaign, "It's much easier for a sitting president to find aides than a former president."
"I think everything about this case, especially how politically toxic Trump is with a lot of people, means there's not a lot to be gained by representing Trump right now," he added.
Conant also suggested that the defense Trump is going to present is leaving GOP lawmakers cold.
"Anything is possible with Trump. I just don't think that Republican senators are going to be sympathetic to the fraud claims," he explained. "That isn't going to help his standing in the Senate. I'm honestly curious what Trump does here."
You can read more here.
A man who was held at gunpoint by police in Chester, Vermont, during a traffic stop has reached a $50,000 settlement with the town government, the Valley News reports.
The Human Rights Commission found that the Chester Police Department illegally discriminated against Obadiah Jacobs, who is Black, during a traffic stop in 2019 when police were looking for a driver from another town.
"I thought I was going to be arrested or shot," Jacobs said in regards to when police ordered him out of his car at gunpoint. "I couldn't believe this was really happening. I didn't know if I made the wrong move at that point if I would have a bullet shot at me. It was terrifying."
According to Jacobs' attorney, there was no reason for the traffic stop.
"The evidence is clear: He did nothing wrong," attorney Thomas Bixby said. "The vehicle didn't match the description other than him being an African American."
In a statement to its website early this month, the town offered its apologies to Jacobs.
"The town of Chester sincerely apologizes to Mr. Jacobs, recognizing that no arrest or other action was taken as a result of the stop and that no basis was found during the stop to believe that Mr. Jacobs was engaged in illegal activities," the statement read.
"The town of Chester wishes Mr. Jacobs the best in his future endeavors," the statement added, "and hopes that he will feel welcome and secure whenever he has occasion to be in Chester in the future."
The Human Rights Commission's report found that police were looking for a Black man who had been driving a car and waved a firearm at another person in a road rage incident. Jacobs obeyed all commands from police and agreed to a search of the vehicle, where no firearms were found.
When Jacobs asked what the stop was about, Sgt. William Frank told him, "Because yesterday or the day before… allegedly you waved a gun at somebody, pointed a gun at somebody," the report said.
Jacobs replied there was no way it could be true.
When Chester Police Chief Rick Cloud arrived, the report said, Frank told him Jacobs was known as a "player" who would "sling dope."
Read the full report over at the Valley News.
A Utah Republican official tried to set up his own chapter of the anti-government Oath Keepers group, but was ultimately unsuccessful.
Volney Morin, chairman of the Iron County GOP, showed up on a hacked membership list for the right-wing militant group, and he told The Salt Lake Tribune that he joined about a decade ago when he lived in Arizona and tried to start a new chapter when he moved to Cedar City in 2017 -- but ran into a problem.
"Nobody showed up," Morin said.
Members of the group have been linked to the Jan. 6 insurrection, including founder Stewart Rhodes, but Morin chafed when the newspaper asked about those ties.
"Your question presumes the Oath Keepers endorsed that action," Morin said. "In reality, it was some individuals who decided to do something that was stupid."
"It's awfully easy for us to judge a group based on the behavior of a small percentage of the group," he added. "They take the actions of some people who don't represent the values of the group then think the rest believes the same thing. You cannot paint everyone based on the actions of one person."
Morin has asked for his name to be removed from the Oath Keepers' membership list since the hack was revealed, and state GOP officials have no problem with his past involvement.
"I joined the group because they were pro-constitution and I wanted to support a constitutionally based government," Morin said. "They want to peacefully resist any encroachment by the government on the Constitution as the supreme law of the land."
It didn’t take Joseph DiBruno Jr. very long to get back into the family business. According to court documents unsealed Thursday, the 52-year-old Gastonia, North Carolina, man has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Charlotte for financial fraud — a cornerstone of his family’s business model dating back to the 1990s. In 2008, DiBruno, along with his father and brother, pleaded guilty to a decade-long conspiracy in which the trio bilked almost $4 million from unwitting investors. According to court documents at the time, the DiBrunos used an array of sham businesses — from a cholesterol-lo...
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