Nobody was watching Ahmed Hafnaoui in lane eight of the Olympic pool. All eyes were on the Tunisian teenager at the finish. Hafnaoui was the stunning winner of the 400-meter freestyle at the Tokyo Games on Sunday, beating a field of faster and older swimmers. The 18-year-old finished in 3 minutes, 43.26 seconds, punctuating his victory with loud yelling that echoed in the mostly empty 15,000-seat arena. “I believe when I touched the wall and I saw myself first,” he said. "I was so surprised.” Australia’s Jack McLoughlin earned silver and American Kieran Smith took bronze. The top three were se...
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Donald Trump is once again injecting chaos and uncertainty into the Republican Party as he reportedly considers announcing a third consecutive campaign for the presidency.
"Republicans are bracing for Donald J. Trump to announce an unusually early bid for the White House, a move designed in part to shield the former president from a stream of damaging revelations emerging from investigations into his attempts to cling to power after losing the 2020 election," The New York Times reported. "While many Republicans would welcome Mr. Trump’s entry into the race, his move would also exacerbate persistent divisions over whether the former president is the party’s best hope to win back the White House. The party is also divided over whether his candidacy would be an unnecessary distraction from midterm elections or even a direct threat to democracy."
On Wednesday, Trump announced he would be traveling to Anchorage for a campaign rally against Alaska GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski.
The newspaper reported Trump as "accelerated his planning in recent weeks" and "aides are scrambling to build out basic campaign infrastructure in time for an announcement as early as this month."
The period between Independence Day and Labor Day is traditionally viewed as the slowest time in politics, with many reporters on vacation while voters enjoy their summers.
"That timing would be extraordinary — presidential candidates typically announce their candidacies in the year before the election — and could have immediate implications for Republicans seeking to take control of Congress in November. Mr. Trump’s presence as an active candidate would make it easier for Democrats to turn midterm races into a referendum on the former president, who since losing in 2020 has relentlessly spread lies about the legitimacy of the election. Some Republicans fear that would distract from pocketbook issues that have given their party a strong advantage in congressional races," the newspaper reported.
Former Colorado Republican Party Chair Dick Wadhams worries Trump's ongoing fixation on lying about the election he lost to Joe Biden could hurt the party.
“Republicans want to win badly in 2022, and it is dawning on many of them that relitigating the 2020 election with Trump’s daily conspiracy diatribes are sure losers,” he told The Times.
The newspaper noted Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is urging an early announcement.
"Ronna McDaniel, the chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, had urged Mr. Trump to wait until after the midterms, worried that news about his campaign could derail the party’s midterm messaging," the newspaper reported. "One R.N.C. official noted that when Mr. Trump opened a campaign, the party would stop paying his legal bills related to an investigation by the New York attorney general. Still, Ms. McDaniel has recently resigned herself to the idea that he will announce before the elections, according to people familiar with the conversations."
Meanwhile, other Republicans appear to sense weakness from Trump.
"Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who told Mr. Trump last year that he wouldn’t compete against him for the presidential nomination, has continued to lay the groundwork for a 2024 bid. Mr. Pompeo has told others that he can beat Mr. Trump in the Iowa caucuses, according to people familiar with the conversations," the newspaper reported.
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Improper public records management has taken a personal financial toll on the controversial lieutenant governor of Idaho.
"Idaho Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin deferred most of her June 24 paycheck to balance her office’s budget, leaving the budget with less than $1 left before the 2022 fiscal year closed Thursday," the Idaho Statesman reported Friday. "McGeachin faced a shortfall after using her taxpayer-funded operating budget to pay for $29,000 in legal fees. Most of the expenses covered attorney fees for the Idaho Press Club, which successfully sued McGeachin last year when she declined to hand over public records."
Under a plan from Chief Deputy Controller Joshua Whitworth, McGeachin deferred $1,713.26 of her June 24 wages until the next fiscal year.
McGeachin, who unsuccessfully challenged Gov. Brad Little with the endorsement of Donald Trump in June GOP primary, initially tried to blame Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, also a Republican, for her budget shortfall.
"The Idaho Press Club last year won a lawsuit that sought the release of public records regarding McGeachin’s education task force, which was looking for indoctrination in Idaho schools. Reporters had requested responses to a Google Forms survey that McGeachin circulated earlier in the year soliciting public feedback, as well as additional records," the newspaper reported. "A judge mandated that McGeachin release the records and pay the Idaho Press Club’s legal costs. McGeachin eventually asked that taxpayers fund what her office was forced to pay, 'due to unforeseen legal bills related to a lawsuit from the Idaho Press Club after the attorney general’s office failed to properly represent' her."
Her office ended the fiscal year with only $0.72.
The newspaper noted McGeachin had previously dismissed reports of her office's budget shortfall as "fake news."
McGeachin will remain in office as a lame-duck until January, when she will be succeeded by Scott Bedke (R) or Terri Pickens Manweiler (D).
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On MSNBC Friday, Watergate prosecutor Jill Wine-Banks revealed the statute she believes would be most appropriate for punishing former President Donald Trump for encouraging the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
Specifically, she argued he could be prosecuted under 18 U.S.C. § 2383 — the crime of "rebellion or insurrection" against the United States — because the penalty for this crime goes further than prison time.
"Putting aside, maybe, how some of us personally feel about whether or not he should be indicted, do you think based upon what you have heard so far through the course of these hearings, that there will be an indictment of Donald Trump for at least obstruction?" asked anchor and former prosecutor Katie Phang.
"I will try to put aside what I think should be the case, and just talk about what I think are the best crimes to indict him for and whether he should or shouldn't, I will leave to other people," said Wine-Banks. "But I think it would be horrible not to act on what is now blatantly obvious to anyone who is watching the hearing. My favorite crime would be 2383, not the seditious conspiracy which is 2384. The reason is that the penalty for 2383 is not just jail, it is being barred from ever holding federal office again. And for me, that would be a more important goal than jailing the former president."
However, Wine-Banks noted, there are a variety of other statutes the former president could be vulnerable to charges under.
"There is, of course, as you mentioned, obstruction of Congress, obstruction of justice, witness tampering, so many things just based on Cassidy Hutchinson's testimony, just hers, for those few hours laid out all of those crimes," said Wine-Banks. "And then you have many more besides that."
Jill Wine-Banks says convicting Trump of rebellion would bar him from office www.youtube.com