'There won't be a standoff': Lawyer says Trump will surrender quietly if indicted

Former President Donald Trump will surrender quietly if he’s indicted by a Manhattan grand jury investigating allegations that he made illegal hush money payments, his lawyer told the New York Daily News.

“There won’t be a standoff at Mar-a-Lago with Secret Service and the Manhattan DA’s office,” attorney Joe Tacopina told the newspaper.

A criminal indictment of Trump is widely believed to be imminent, with Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg reportedly requesting a meeting with the NYPD to figure out logistics and security being beefed up around the courthouse.

If he is charged, he needs to surrender to authorities and appear in court. Courthouse staff are also preparing for him to be charged.

“The court officers will work hand in hand with NYPD and the Secret Service in making this as smooth and safe a process for all parties involved,” Dennis Quirk, president of the New York State Court Officers Association, told the News.

Trump allegedly paid adult actress Stormy Daniels in an attempt to buy her silence about an affair. He has denied the accusations.

“Most people would collapse under the weight of this,” Tacopina said on Friday, according to the News.

“He seems to turn everything into a positive and everything into a boost for his campaign, so I’m sure this will just join that long list of things that people think no one could overcome, but he will.”

District Attorney asks to meet with NYPD ahead of possible Trump indictment: report

The Manhattan District Attorney’s office has asked to meet with New York Police Department officials to prepare for the possible indictment of former President Donald Trump, Fox News reported Friday.

DA Alvin Bragg’s office requested the meeting on Thursday, a source told the news outlet. The source said a date and time hasn’t yet been set.

They said the DA wants to "discuss logistics for some time next week, which would mean that they are anticipating an indictment next week.”

The DA’s office declined to confirm the request had been made when contacted by Fox.

A grand jury is widely expected to indict Trump imminently after an investigation in hush payments allegedly paid to adult actress Stormy Daniels.

If he is indicted, he would need to surrender to the NYPD.

Guns in schools caused by lack of prayer: NYC mayor

The mayor of New York City has blamed the lack of prayer in public schools for a flood of guns being found in them.

“When we took prayers out of schools, guns came into schools,” Democrat Eric Adams said at an interfaith breakfast Tuesday, Politico reported.

"Don’t tell me about no separation of church and state. State is the body, church is the heart. You take the heart out of the body, the body dies."

His message seemed to directly oppose the landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling of 1962 that banned prayer in public schools.

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His comments come nearly a year after Adams held a press conference highlighting the scourge of guns in his city's schools. In the first five months of 2022, 20 firearms had been found – an increase of 300% on the year before.

Adams, who has identified himself as a Christian, was introduced by his chief advisor, Ingrid Lewis-Martin, a chaplain.

“We know in government, many times, it is said that one has to separate church from state, but we have an administration that doesn’t believe in that,” she said. “We have a mayor ... who is definitely one of the chosen."

His apparent support for bringing religion back into schools was immediately criticized.

New York Civil Liberties Union spokesperson Donna Lieberman said, “In order for our government to truly represent us, it must not favor any belief over another, including non-belief," Politico reported.

A mayoral spokesperson told reporters Adams, "personally believes all of our faiths would ensure we are humane to one another.”

Marjorie Taylor Greene votes against mourning earthquake victims: report

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene voted against a resolution to mourn the nearly 50,000 people who died in earthquakes that rocked Syria and Turkey earlier this month, The Daily Beast reported.

The Georgia Republican was just one of two members of Congress who voted no to the motion that ultimately passed Monday night, the Beast reported. It called for mourning of the victims, as well as condemnation of "efforts by the Assad regime of Syria to exploit the disaster to evade international pressure and accountability, including by preventing the United Nations from providing assistance through border crossings between Turkey and Syria.”

The motion was introduced by Republican Rep. Joe Wilson (SC)

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The Daily Beast reported that second member to oppose the motion was Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY).

Greene's lack of support came despite tweeting earlier in February: “Praying for Turkey and other countries suffering through deadly earthquakes."

Read the Daily Beast article at this link.

'Harmful to democracy': Arizona governor demands probe into prosecutor who withheld election fraud report

Arizona's former GOP Attorney General Mark Brnovich is facing an investigation into "likely unethical behavior" after he withheld his own staff's findings that refuted claims of fraud in the 2020 election, the Washington Post reported.

A letter sent to the State Bar of Arizona by Democratic Governor Katie Hobbs called Brnovich's actions “harmful to our democracy, our State, and the legal profession itself.”

Brnovich quickly issued a statement saying, “Katie Hobbs is wrong. This is another misguided attempt by her to defame and cancel a political opponent instead of addressing the serious issues facing our state," the Post reported.

“While subjected to severe criticism from all sides of the political spectrum during the course of our investigations, we did our due diligence to run all complaints to ground. Where we were able to debunk rumors and conspiracies, we did so. Nevertheless, we also identified areas we believe the legislature and county officials should address to ensure confidence in future elections.”

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Hobbs' request is one of at least eight complaints received against Brnovich involving his investigation of the 2020 election, a State Bar Association spokesperson told the Post. The association has the power to disbar lawyers.

On Wednesday, the Post first reported that Brnovich's successor, Democrat Kris Mayes, disclosed documents detailing the office's investigation into why then-President Donald Trump lost the election. The probe took more than 10,000 hours of his staff's time, the Post said.

"Investigators prepared a report in March 2022 stating that virtually all claims of error and malfeasance were unfounded, according to internal documents reviewed by The Washington Post. Brnovich, a Republican, kept it private," the Post said.

These 3 things could bury Trump's election hopes

The choice of extreme election denier Kristina Karamo as Michigan's GOP chair this past weekend has given a clear message, the New Republic reports. Donald Trump is still very much in charge of the Republican party.

The fact that the former president endorsed a different candidate in the 10-person field doesn't matter, writer Michael Tomasky said. Because all 10 candidates were Trump fans.

In a state where Democrats are in control, holding both chambers of the state legislature and the governorship, Republicans have reacted by moving even further towards the extreme, Tomasky said.

And he suggested that was evidence that Trump still rules the grassroots roost, despite the many investigations ongoing against him.

"With each passing week, the sense grows that sooner or later, some arm of the law or another is likely to catch up with him; that he may finally have tempted fate one time too many, and that even the protective carapace of the presidency can’t shield him. In fact, that it is precisely because he became president that the system finally is rising up to hold him to some kind of account (we hope)," Tomasky wrote.

"And yet, none of it matters. Cable news spends hours wondering about this, but it’s pretty obvious why. Trump has energized a neo-fascist, white ethnonationalist segment of the population that will stay with him through virtually anything because he has identified and given voice to their resentments."

And Tomasky said only three things could change that.

  • The leaders of the religious right come out against Trump.
  • The opposing candidates stop their individual scrapping and unite behind one anti-Trump presidential hopeful.
  • An indictment comes down that polls show would really hurt him in a general election, and the Trump-backing networks such as Fox accept the writing on the wall.

"None of these three scenarios is impossible," Tomasky says. "But none is very likely, because these people aren’t leaders, they’re followers. They’re afraid of Trump’s voters, and they’re afraid of Trump himself — of the chaos he could create either with a third-party candidacy or just by attacking the GOP nominee and the whole nominating process as corrupt.

"As long as Trump is leading in the primary polls by double digits, the Falwells won’t come out against him. Party chair and longtime MAGA sycophant Ronna McDaniel won’t bust heads to force unity behind an anti-Trump. And Rupert Murdoch won’t take a stand, either.

"As we learned last week in that Dominion Voting Systems filing, the Foxers are terrified they’ll lose audience share to Newsmax, so they’ll handle Trump delicately."

Trump trolls Nikki Haley in social media post dripping with sarcasm

Donald Trump mocked the start of Nikki Haley's presidential campaign Wednesday in a social media post dripping in sarcasm.

Only hours after Haley announced she was running – becoming the only Republican to officially challenge the former president – he took to his Truth Social platform to offer mock praise.

"She's polling at 1%," he smirked. "Not a bad start!!!"

Trump repeated criticism of Haley's honor, claiming that she'd offered him her loyalty before reneging on that promise by making her challenge.

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"Nikki Haley had a hard time making the decision to run for President because she very publicly stated that she 'would never run against the President. He did a GREAT JOB, and was the best President in my lifetime.'" he posted.

"I told Nikki to follow her heart, not her ambition or belief. Who knows, stranger things have happened."

Haley, the former South Carolina governor, launched her campaign with an event in South Carolina Tuesday, taking what many interpreted as a barely masked swipe at Trump.

"I have always had a deep belief in America," she said. "And I'm confident that the American people agree. We're ready — ready to move past the stale ideas and faded names of the past."

​Chinese spy balloon shot down off U.S. coast

A Chinese spy balloon that's been drifting through U.S. airspace for days was shot down off the Carolina coast Saturday afternoon, President Joe Biden said.

The balloon had spent five days floating from Idaho to the Carolinas, sparking a diplomatic incident between the U.S. and China and a huge political debate in which many Republicans criticized Biden for not downing it quickly – with some encouraging civilians to shoot it down themselves.

Biden's administration decided to leave it in flight until it was over water to minimize risk of debris plummeting to the ground.

The balloon was downed by the U.S. military shortly after the Federal Aviation Administration announced it had "paused departures from and arrivals to" airports in the area "to support the Department of Defense in a national security effort." On Saturday afternoon, the Federal Aviation Administration had issued flight alerts, known as "notice to air missions" or NOTAMs, warning aviators of flight restrictions around Myrtle Beach, S.C.

The Associated Press reported an operation was underway to recover the debris from the ocean.

Some on social media posted videos apparently showing the craft falling from the sky.

The Chinese government had claimed that the balloon was used for weather research and had drifted off course into U.S. airspace, but the Pentagon said it was a surveillance device.

Biden had said earlier Saturday that "we're going to take of it."

Later, upon landing in Hagerstown, Md., after a brief trip to Syracuse, N.Y., Biden told reporters that he "ordered the Pentagon to shoot it down on Wednesday as soon as possible.”

He said the Pentagon didn’t want to do damage to anyone on the ground, according to a White House press pool report.

“They decided that the best time to do that was when it got over water," Biden said. “They successfully took it down and I want to compliment our aviators that did it."

First lady Jill Biden also offered thoughts on the Chinese balloon Saturday afternoon while visiting a military family clinic in San Diego.

"We're more aware of the military when we're in times of war, but now we're in times of peace," she said. "And, just like this morning, if any of you were watching the TV, where they were following the, you know, the balloon from China, and we saw the effort that our military did. I mean, I felt such a sense of pride about the effort and that our military, you know, shot down the balloon, how coordinated it was, how thoughtful it was, that it was decided to wait until it was over water so that civilians weren't affected."

'Take a baseball bat and crack your skull': Man admits threatening Marjorie Taylor Greene

A man who told Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) he'd pay somebody $500 to "take a baseball bat and crack your skull" has pleaded guilty to making threatening phone calls.

Joseph Morelli, 51, from upstate New York, admitted making several calls to Greene's Washington, D.C., office in March 2022, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of New York said in a statement.

In one voicemail, Morelli said, “I’m gonna hurt you. Physically, I’m gonna harm you.” In another, he said that he would “make sure that, even if they lock me up, someone’s gonna get you ’cause I’ll pay them to," prosecutors said.

He was charged with transmitting interstate threatening communications and faces up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. He is due to be sentenced on June 1.

Greene has been a controversial figure since being elected to Congress in 2020. She's known for espousing right-wing views and sharing conspiracy theories.

Ilhan Omar booted from Foreign Affairs Committee

Minnesota Democrat Ilhan Omar has been booted from the House Foreign Affairs Committee in a move she said was motivated by racism and revenge.

Thursday’s vote came after Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) spent much of the week wrangling members of his party who initially opposed her removal.

In 2021, Marjorie Taylor-Greene (R-GA) and Paul Gosar (R-AZ) were removed from committees for incendiary comments and apparent support of violence against Democrats. Both regained seats under McCarthy this year.

Many have suggested Omar’s removal was in revenge for their ousting.

Omar told CNN on Sunday that the effort to remove her “is about revenge” and “appeasing the former president.”

She said it was “motivated by the fact that many of these members don’t believe a Muslim, a refugee, an African should even be in Congress, let alone have the opportunity to serve on the foreign affairs committee.”

In a statement, the chair of the House Democratic Caucus blasted Republicans.

“Before voting to create a single job, before voting to lower costs by one penny, House Republicans are prioritizing political vendettas and catering to the most extreme elements of their party," said Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-CA).

"Congresswoman Omar deserves to serve on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. She has the background and breadth of experience to be an important voice for her constituents and communities across the country. The vote today is yet another payoff in the corrupt bargain Speaker McCarthy struck to win the votes of the MAGA Republicans who now control the People’s House. Make no mistake, these same people are demanding cuts to Social Security and Medicare and Speaker McCarthy is going to have to deliver for them, just as he did today.“