Trump Is Being Charged with Willfully Retaining National-Defense Information

Reporting from the Washington Post and New York Times indicates that former president Donald Trump has been indicted on seven felony counts. The indictment obtained by special counsel Jack Smith from a federal grand jury in Miami is still under seal, so the reports are based on leaks from people said to be knowledgeable.

The most notable thing I’ve seen is that, in charging Trump with an Espionage Act offense, prosecutors are relying on a provision that criminalizes willful violations of the rules that government officials are required to follow in handling national-defense intelligence. This seems like an obvious effort to distinguish Trump’s alleged crime from President Biden’s mishandling of classified documents, which the White House and the media-Democratic complex have described as inadvertent — the result mainly of sloppy staff work, not willfulness.

No one who has been following our analyses at NR will be surprised to hear that Trump is reportedly charged with a conspiracy to obstruct justice. What intrigues me about that allegation is that it takes two to tango — i.e., one can’t conspire alone. To have conspired to obstruct justice, prosecutors would have to prove that Trump had at least one co-conspirator who knowingly agreed to obstruct the government’s investigation. At this point, it is not clear with whom Smith alleges Trump conspired. When the indictment is made public, perhaps it will shed light on that question.

Trump is also said to be charged with making false statements. As I’ve previously related, one theory the special counsel appears to be pressing is that Trump is responsible for a false sworn statement his lawyers conveyed to the FBI — for transmission to the grand jury — on June 3, 2022.

At that time, the lawyers represented that a thorough search of Mar-a-Lago had been conducted and that the 38 documents bearing classification marking that they were surrendering that day were the only ones in Trump’s possession. After that point, the government continued to investigate and developed evidence that Trump was still hoarding documents marked classified. As a result, prosecutors sought and obtained a search warrant for Mar-a-Lago on August 5, 2022. Three days later, the FBI searched the premises and seized over a hundred documents with classification markings, many of them found in Trump’s private office.

Under the federal aiding-and-abetting statute, a principal is responsible for criminal acts of his agents, including false statements, if he has caused, counseled, or commanded their commission.

Most interesting, though, are reports that Trump is charged with willfully retaining national-defense information. We can’t be sure until we’ve seen the indictment, but this appears to refer to subsection (d) of the Espionage Act (Section 793 of the federal criminal code, Title 18). In pertinent part, that section states:

Whoever, lawfully having possession of, access to, control over, or being entrusted with any document … relating to the national defense, or information relating to the national defense which information the possessor has reason to believe could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation, … willfully retains the same and fails to deliver it on demand to the officer or employee of the United States entitled to receive it [is guilty of a crime punishable by up to ten years’ imprisonment].

Subsection (d) sets forth a more serious offense than the provision that usually applies to government officials who mishandle classified information and other national-defense intelligence. That provision, subsection (f), makes it a crime for officials trusted with national-defense intelligence to exhibit gross negligence in mishandling it (e.g., by removing it from safekeeping, by retaining it in an unauthorized place, by exposing it to an unauthorized person, or by allowing it to be lost, stolen, or destroyed).

Subsection (f) would obviously be applicable to the misconduct of President Biden, who was entrusted with classified information and, at a minimum, caused it to be removed from safekeeping and stored it in unauthorized locations.

Obviously, if Trump were charged with a violation of subsection (f), it would raise the question of why Biden has not also been charged with that offense. The strategy of the Biden administration and its special counsel, then, seems to be (1) to allege that Trump committed a willful offense that puts him in a different, more egregious category from Biden’s conduct; and (2) to pretend in connection with Biden — as the Obama-Biden Justice Department pretended in connection with Hillary Clinton’s email scandal — that it is not a felony for government officials to be grossly negligent in mishandling classified information (i.e., to pretend that willfulness, or some intent to harm the United States, is an essential element of the offense).

Click here to read the full article in National Review

DeSantis Aims to Outdo Trump on Immigration

The former president’s pledge to end birthright citizenship is a new low but unlikely to be the end.

Donald Trump was the most anti-immigrant U.S. president in nearly 100 years. He oversaw a family separation policy at the border that traumatized countless children and lost track of hundreds of parents; slashed refugee admissions to record lows; gutted access to asylum; and much more.

But for some of the most influential U.S. nativists and white nationalists — people Republican presidential candidates have decided they need to court during and after the primary season — Trump’s crackdowns were not enough. Some see greater potential in his top rival for the 2024 nomination, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Can DeSantis successfully co-opt Trump’s trademark issue? DeSantis is trying to paint the MAGA leader as soft on immigration.

At the end of May, he attacked Trump as pro-amnesty for his onetime support of a failed GOP bill that would have legalized some immigrants brought here as children in exchange for more border militarization and cuts to legal immigration. And last weekend, DeSantis met with families of victims of the 9/11 terror attacks as they criticized Trump’s decision to host a Saudi-funded golf tournament.

On Tuesday, Trump sought to reclaim his position as the No. 1 anti-immigrant crusader by reviving one of the most extreme ideas explored during his presidency: an executive order ending birthright citizenship.

The proposed order, which he promised to sign his first day in office if reelected, would face immediate legal challenges for its clear violation of the Constitution’s 14th Amendment, which guarantees citizenship to everyone born in the U.S. His plan relies on a tortured reading of the amendment from pseudo-intellectuals at California’s Claremont Institute, such as Trump’s former lawyer John Eastman, a key player in the effort to overturn the 2020 election who also wrote an unhinged article questioning Vice President Kamala Harris’ citizenship (it led to an editors’ apology).

If the Supreme Court ruled in Trump’s favor — not impossible to imagine — it would defy more than a century of legal precedent. And it would create a shadow population of millions of U.S.-born people who could be jailed and deported. In the eyes of restrictionists, it would all be worth it for a decline in “anchor babies,” their slur for the U.S.-born children of people who lack legal immigration status.

But restrictionists are skeptical that Trump would follow through on his promise given his record of sloppy executive orders and their chaotic implementation. Past orders were often blocked by courts.

“I fear this will be one more example of him writing up an executive order and either it fizzles out or they don’t pursue it with the seriousness and professionalism it deserves,” Mark Krikorian, a lead architect of the 21st century movement to strangle legal and illegal immigration, told me. He frowns on Trump’s occasional expressions of support for legal immigration.

“He’s not even a restrictionist,” he complained to me, criticizing Trump’s failure to stop guest worker and other visa programs. Krikorian heads the Center for Immigration Studies, classified as an anti-immigrant hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center despite Krikorian’s claims to the contrary. He prefers DeSantis over Trump.

So do some open white nationalists, who cheer on his policies and rhetoric online and see them as signs that he’s more hostile toward overall immigration, which is important for those who fear demographic change.

DeSantis recently signed Senate Bill 1718, which turned Florida into the most anti-immigrant state in the nation. It makes it a felony to give undocumented people rides, jobs or shelter; requires employers to verify workers’ immigration statuses and invalidates certain out-of-state driver’s licenses for undocumented people. DeSantis also banned sanctuary cities in his state.

Some of DeSantis’ actions were on the wish list of Trump’s senior advisor Stephen Miller, whose ideas were shaped by Krikorian’s Center for Immigration Studies and other groups created by John Tanton — a well-connected white supremacist who fathered the modern nativist movement. But although Miller did push Trump in a more hardline direction on overall immigration, he wasn’t able to implement the full Tanton agenda because of his inexperience and an uphill battle in a White House with more moderate voices on the immigration issue, such as Jared Kushner.

Miller remains loyal to Trump. But DeSantis is positioning himself as more in line with Miller than Trump himself, who sometimes caved to pressure to temper his harsh positions, such as when he called off family separations at the border in response to national outrage.

Trump’s promise to end birthright citizenship seeks to correct the notion that he’s the less ruthless candidate. One shudders to imagine how DeSantis will try to one-up Trump’s threat. “Those two guys are in a white nationalist arms race,” Chris Newman, legal director for the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, told me.

Click here to read the full article in the LA Times

It Won’t Be Biden Vs. Trump

The race remains Ron DeSantis’ to win.

“We must limit federal spending to stop the inflation that Biden and the Democrats unleashed. This debt ceiling deal kicks the can down the road. But it’s the best we can do until Republicans elect a greater House majority, regain the Senate, and elect a President. Donald Trump’s policies were mainly positive, but the 2020 election became a referendum on him personally. Therefore he lost to Biden and lost the Senate —  that year and again in 2022.  Next year we need to win the presidency solidly in order to assure a needed strong majority in the Senate and House. The stakes are too high. This is about America, not Trump.”

— What Ron DeSantis should have said yesterday!


I watch less Fox, not because My Friend Tucker is gone, but because the My Pillow Guy never leaves.

So perhaps I’ve lost touch.

But though Biden will take credit for the debt ceiling deal, he’s on his way out. As I’ve long predicted, neither Biden nor Trump will be the nominee of his party. Democrats assume Trump, and Republicans assume Biden. Each party needs its own Plan B. For example, Republicans need to preemptively bind any Biden successor to his failed policies.

Leading Democrats and their media allies conspire to discredit Biden; delaying his withdrawal is more divisive for his party, the insane elite in control. Meanwhile, the list of Republican alternatives to Trump will grow but, unlike 2016, then narrow quickly as candidates “suspend” their campaign — sooner than later — to deny Trump a plurality.

Donald Trump eats junk food, is overweight, doesn’t exercise, and has not released a current medical report. He gets his facts mixed up, repeats himself. In 2020 he proved unable to defend his strong record and lost to a non-campaigner. In 2022, he endorsed marginal candidates in primaries who then kept his party from taking the Senate. Would you hire him to be a returning CEO?

Joe Biden won’t say if medication explains his rare burst of coherence. He remains in decline, inevitably precipitous. His obsession with race and embrace of woke preempt a consensus; thus, he’s not a leader. He is ridiculed as incompetent. Would you renew his employment contract as chief executive?

Trump, 78 in the general election, cannot make Biden’s age an issue. My polling over decades showed seniors — they know slowdown, and they vote — are the most skeptical of aging candidates. Voters across the board question Biden’s fitness. Predisposed, they will magnify any verbal gaffe.

Who knows the outcome for Hunter Biden or other potential Biden scandals amidst the mainstream media ready to take Biden down? Meanwhile, Trump’s appetite for self-destruction will resurrect memories of his excess. Mainly for Biden, and even for Trump: what happens with Russia, Ukraine, Israel and Iran, China and North Korea, and more? Biden, haunted by the Afghanistan debacle, remains clueless about the world. And Trump, with an otherwise strong record in foreign policy and national security, still inexplicably can’t bring himself to condemn Putin.

As the late Paul Harvey would say, there’s more to this story. Months ago DeSantis was hyped, his numbers thus higher. Republicans then focused on Biden, they yearned for the binary choice — Trump. Trump’s super PAC unleashed a misleading but effective ad campaign depicting DeSantis as favoring tax hikes and destroying Social Security, the latter feeding the false Democrat narrative. Trump’s 2 to 1 national lead over DeSantis is overstated. DeSantis (and other candidates) now will focus on early primary states, where polling will be closer, and numbers are elastic, momentum sudden, one primary affecting the next, media spin … national polling can pop. (Debates are a wild card. Remember 2016 — how Ben Carson, who later stumbled, took off after his first debate performance?)

DeSantis supporters boasted about their super PAC’s projected $200 million war chest and even provided the New York Times with a detailed battle plan. Presumably, they thought this would help DeSantis gain credibility. They are wise to invest in a ground game, dispositive only if DeSantis is within striking distance of Trump. But their advertising thus far is pedestrian, partly because as a super PAC, they can’t collude with the candidate, and voters need him in the flesh, not voiceover. DeSantis has a solid record as Governor, but he requires, without losing his authenticity, warmth. Big Money won’t compensate. Ask California Gov. Meg Whitman.

Besides front-runner Trump and second place DeSantis, declared candidates — Larry Elder, Nikki Haley, Asa Hutchinson, Vivek Ramaswamy, Tim Scott — will be joined by others. Trump’s strategy is to encourage many — to divide the anti-Trump vote, thus assuring Trump a plurality. That won’t happen. Some may suspend their campaign before the first or second primary and hope for the vice-presidential nomination.

In the next few months, Trump will continue to face legal challenges. The egregious abuse of prosecutorial discretion by New York District Attorney Alvin Bragg has compromised the credibility of future (even if reasonable) indictments of Trump. But Trump’s future reactions may be more telling than the prosecutions, thus compounding voter fatigue with him.

Many current Trump voters could defect to a candidate who offers his policies without Trump. Polling shows many Trump supporters open-minded about an alternative candidate. A recent polling question was disingenuous — asking Republican voters whether (to paraphrase) they would prefer a winning candidate or a principled candidate, as if principle and winning are mutually exclusive.

The best strategy for DeSantis (and other candidates) is to let Trump be Trump.

The former president imprudently attacks DeSantis for initially favoring COVID restrictions, when it was Trump who emboldened and honored the hack Fauci. DeSantis needs to conclusively pick the low hanging fruit to destroy Trump’s credibility among Trump supporters who might defect. An indiscriminate DeSantis attack mode risks an opening for another “positive” Republican. However, if DeSantis seems not petulant but  presidential, a volatile Trump becomes more strident. Importantly, DeSantis then will poll better in general election matchups and thus validate that Trump will lose and he, DeSantis, will win. DeSantis and other candidates can never get Trump diehards. And the Trump administration’s record was pretty good, so DeSantis should attack Trump’s current positions, e.g., Trump “taking the side of Disney, I’m taking the side of parents.”

Convince Republicans to believe that Trump will lose in the general election, and they will deny him the nomination.

On the Democratic side, besides declared candidates Robert Kennedy Jr. and Marianne Williamson, major Democrats are salivating to replace Biden once he yields. Kamala Harris is expendable, especially if another black candidate is on the ticket as VP or even president, perhaps Michelle Obama?

In contrast to Kamala Harris or Michelle Obama, Republican candidates like Tim Scott or Larry Elder do not turn off Hispanic/Latino voters, who are rapidly moving away from Democrats, the party of racial quotas and reparations. Last week when the patronizing President Biden appointed Air Force General Charles Brown, obviously black, to be Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, he obsessed about Brown being black (pun intended), further alienating Latinos.

In a close race, each side will use the “voter turnout of the base” cliché. Yet, the growing number of independent voters will determine the next president. Trump does poorly among them. Reaching them also reaches moderates in both major parties, especially those conflicted on abortion.

For a half-century, the argument was that Roe was an over-reach, and the matter was best left to the states. Sen. Lindsey Graham last year nationalized the issue, another reason Republicans did poorly in the midterms. For DeSantis to support a six-week ban and also criticize Trump for not supporting a federal ban may reach some pro-life core voters, but most will stay with Trump for other reasons. And DeSantis so quickly moving to prohibit sex education in higher grades beyond the primary grades was gratuitous. DeSantis has a proven and competent, dedicated and loyal, but insular team missing the straight line between two points. And DeSantis cannot simply press the UNDO button on each misstep. If DeSantis continues in the weeds, he could win a nomination not worth having.

Assume for now that DeSantis remains the strongest alternative to Trump. The path toward the nomination extends backward from the general election. For example, given the headwinds DeSantis faces for a general election, there are many ways for him (and other Republicans) to reach younger voters. And also to reach other constituencies: gaining in overall general election polls will demonstrate that DeSantis, not Trump, has the best chance to defeat the Democrat nominee.

Advice to the DeSantis team: tactical implementation does not redeem a flawed strategy. DeSantis defeats Trump not by silly attacks, e.g., Trump is weak on the border. Inescapably, DeSantis wins if Republicans believe Trump will lose in a general election, and DeSantis will win. It’s that simple.

Republican leaders do not understand inflation; otherwise in the midterms they would have made Biden and the Democrats own it. Inflation yields instability and insecurity. Even if the rate of inflation subsides, the increased cost of living —now permanently higher — can become a cultural issue. DeSantis errs in pursuing social issues not in a nuanced way, but with a sledgehammer. The woke crowd is overbearing. Our side needs to be contemplative. DeSantis and Republican candidates should merge the cultural or social issues with anxiety … over the economy, borders, family, education, values, drugs abuse, racial unrest, privacy, homelessness … and crime.

READ MORE from Arnold Steinberg:

Republicans Are Still the Stupid Party!

Biden Must Own Inflation and High Interest Rates,

There Is No Path for Donald Trump to Become the Republican Nominee

The most recent DeSantis blunder is criticizing Trump implausibly as “moving left” on crime. DeSantis, who is highly intelligent but poorly briefed, pledges to repeal the First Step Act, the criminal justice reform legislation signed by President Trump that likely reduced recidivism. Instead, DeSantis should be blaming the soft-on-crime prosecutors backed by Democrats for the breakdown of law and order, and for giving a bad name to real criminal justice reform (which Republicans champion). DeSantis probably relied on polling questions poorly worded for instant gratification, not on reliable data.

DeSantis should have announced for president, and only then a day later, the bold Twitter Q&A (after a trial run resolved glitches). Just as he should not have dismissed the Ukraine War as a “territorial dispute” and made Tucker Carlson the story, similarly, DeSantis is running for president, not Elon Musk.

Yet, the over-hyped DeSantis Twitter gambit is only a disaster retroactively — if DeSantis fails. Remember that Trump’s uninspired announcement earlier this year was an unimpressive nonevent.

DeSantis has not sufficiently answered the question that ended Ted Kennedy’s 1980 presidential campaign, “Why do you want to be president?” He needs an ethos, an affirmation, more than a critique. As the young guy in the race, DeSantis must project gravitas, not agitation. He must be deliberative and prudent — in contrast to Trump, nearly twice his age yet impulsive.

Click here to read the full article in The American Spectator

CPAC Treasurer Accuses Chief Matt Schlapp of Financial, Personnel Mismanagement

The resignation letter adds pressure on Schlapp, who is fighting a defamation lawsuit from a campaign staffer who alleges he groped him

Matt Schlapp, the prominent Trump ally who leads the influential Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), was accused this week of mismanaging money and staff in a scathing resignation letter from the parent organization’s treasurer.

Bob Beauprez, the treasurer of the American Conservative Union and a board member for eight years, said he had “lost confidence” in the organization’s financial statements and could not solicit donations “in good faith.” He blamed Schlapp forexcessive staffdepartures and suggested that violations of the organization’s bylaws could expose the storied institution to lawsuits or even criminal prosecution.

“A cancer has been metastasizing within the organization for years. It must be diagnosed, treated, and cured, or it will destroy” the organization and its foundation, Beauprez said in the letter, which was obtained by The Washington Post. “I’ve come to think that the expectations for my role as a director and officer is much the same as that of a mushroom — ‘To be kept in the dark and fed a lot of manure.’ I no longer am willing to comply.”

The 13-pageletter, delivered Tuesday ahead of a scheduled June 1board meeting, escalates the internal and public pressure on Schlapp,who as ACU chairman since 2014, has become a fixture in conservative media. But his leadership is facing multiple challenges amid corporate backlash over CPAC’s embrace of the far right in the United States and abroad, as well as reduced turnout at its flagship Washington-area conference in March. Schlapp called the event a “home run.”

Schlapp and his wife, Mercedes, a senior fellow at the foundation and a former senior official in the Trump White House, are also fighting a defamation and battery lawsuit from a formerRepublican campaign aide who alleged that Schlapp groped him last fall during a visit to the Atlanta area. Schlapp, 55,has denied the aide’s account and attacked his credibility.

Schlapp on Thursday broadly denied the allegations in the letter, characterizing them in a response posted to Twitter as the “routine internal complaints of disgruntled employees.”

“The claims contained in the original email are out of context or are in error,” Schlapp said. “I’ve experienced a political assassination attempt on every part of my character and integrity for the past five months. I’m disgusted that I need to respond to the Post about internal deliberations of CPAC — an organization that’s grown five-fold under my leadership.”

Beauprez did not respond to a message from The Post.

In his letter, Beauprez said he accepted Schlapp’s denial of any inappropriate conduct involving the aide, but he also argued that the board has a duty to protect the organization from potentially significant damages and has never been“fully briefed” on the lawsuit.He said the board agreed to advance $50,000 for Schlapp’s attorney, Ben Chew, who previously represented actorJohnny Depp, butBeauprez said hewas concerned that the fees had spiraled to more than $270,000. That amount has been raised from private donors, he said.

Chew said in an email that the executive committee was briefed on the lawsuit at Beauprez’s request. “Given the information we have unearthed in discovery, we are confident we will prevail in the litigation,” he added.

Another former CPACemployee has notified the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission of plans to sue over claims that she was fired in retaliation for complaining about a co-worker’s sexist and racist comments. Beauprez said the board has not been formally briefed on that case either.

“A few of us have sought answers to some of what seem to be obvious and necessary questions,” Beauprez said.“As a result, we have been accused of ‘not having Matt’s back’ and ‘trying to stage a leadership coup.’”

Concerns about Schlapp’s leadership also fueled the recentresignation of the treasurer of the American Conservative Union Foundation, Randy Neugebauer, according to several people familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal matters. Neugebauer did not respond to a request for comment from The Post.

Beauprez, a former Republican congressman from Colorado, detailed other wide-ranging complaints that he said date back to 2020. He said that since the organization’s chief financial officer left in March, the bookkeeping was taken over by a longtime business associate of Schlapp’s who provided financial documents with unexplained discrepancies. Beauprez also said he was concerned about payment obligations that were “a far greater amount than I ever recall,” and he said Schlapp was not able to specify how much money the organization made on the CPAC event in March.

The Post reported in February that more than half of the organization’s staff has left since 2021. Beauprez said Schlapp established a pattern of maligning people who leave, even when he was responsible for hiring and promoting them. Several staff members were driven to therapy and medicationin a stressed-out workplace with “major deficiencies” in management, Beauprez said.

One employee became so distressed thatshe left a group dinner and was found by co-workerswandering aimlessly in the streets, according to the letter. Multiple people who were present for that incident confirmed the account to The Post.

“New hires always come in with the highest regard, but when they leave whether by choice or get fired, they are disparaged and have suddenly become useless human refuse,” Beauprez said. “To ignore and deny the reality is dishonest.”

Beauprez’s letter also detailed several instances in which he alleged that the organization failed to follow its bylaws. Specifically, he said, the board’s executive committee approved Schlapp’s salary but neither the committee nor the board ever saw a formal contract, as required by the bylaws. Schlapp, whose chairman position is traditionally unpaid, started receiving annual compensation of $600,000 in mid-2022as his lobbying income declined, according to public records and people familiar with the organization’s finances.

Beauprez also alleged that the board never approved a resolution authorizing officers to sign checks as required by the bylaws.

Click here to read the full article at the Washington Post

Title 42 Countdown: 700,000 Migrants in Mexico Waiting to Rush U.S. Border

As many as 700,000 migrants, a foreign population larger than Boston, Massachusetts, are currently in Mexico waiting to rush the United States-Mexico border when President Joe Biden ends the public health authority known as Title 42 on May 11.

In 2020, in the midst of the Chinese coronavirus crisis, former President Donald Trump invoked the public health authority known as Title 42 at the border, ensuring that federal immigration officials have been able to quickly return millions of illegal aliens to Mexico over the last three years.

On May 11, though, Biden will end Title 42 and expand its Catch and Release network to quickly move border crossers and illegal aliens into the U.S. interior — including deploying 1,500 U.S. troops to the border to free up federal immigration officials to process arrivals at a faster pace.

During a Yuma County Board of Supervisors meeting this week, supervisor Jonathan Lines revealed that Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials have warned them that as many as 700,000 migrants are waiting in Mexico to rush the border when Title 42 ends.

“Border Patrol shared with us their intelligence that there are approximately 700,000, as of three weeks ago, in the shelters in Mexico waiting to come into the United States,” Lines said. “They also shared with us that at the Darian Gap which is at the Panama Canal, they’ve seen a 500 percent surge in people crossing over that gap on their way up to the United States.”

Rep. Andy Biggs’ (R-AZ) office confirmed to Breitbart News that they too have been told by officials of the looming 700,000 migrants waiting in Mexico.

Such a “mass migration event,” as Lines said DHS officials called it, would see a foreign population arriving at the border that exceeds the resident population of cities like Boston and Nashville, Tennessee.

“Right now, all of the people that are coming across the border, 40 percent of them are expelled under Title 42 in Yuma, Arizona,” Lines said. “So 40 percent of the people coming across are immediately expelled and they’re flown back to their countries of origin. That goes away on May 11; they are no longer processed out.”

Yuma County Sheriff Leon Wilmot noted that his law enforcement officers have their hands tied, unable to apprehend and detain border crossers and illegal aliens, as federal law would have them charged with kidnapping.

“[If we could arrest], I would fill the jail in a day with the amount of individuals that we encounter trespassing,” Wilmot said.

“International labor organizations and the cartels are facilitating this trade,” Lines noted. “They’re making a significant amount of money — 27 million were forced into labor over the last two years [and] 6.3 million [forced] into sexual exploitation.”

Americans in U.S. border towns like Yuma are especially hard hit by illegal immigration.

In February, Dr. Robert Trenschel of the Yuma Regional Medical Center detailed how in just one year, local taxpayers were left with $26 million in unpaid medical bills from border crossers and illegal aliens who showed up to the hospital needed care. That amount is set to increase, Trenschel said, when Title 42 ends.

Click here to read the full article at BreitbartCA

Trump Bashes Bragg for ‘Illegally’ Leaking Points of Indictment to Media: ‘Should Resign Now’

Former President Donald Trump called for the resignation of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg for allegedly “illegally” leaking the points of indictment to the media.

An exclusive report from Yahoo News on Monday said that the former president “has been charged with 34 felony counts for falsification of business records, according to a source who has been briefed on the procedures for the arraignment of the former president”:

The charge of falsification of business records is normally prosecuted in New York state as a misdemeanor. But Bragg’s office bumped up all the charges to Class E felonies — the lowest level of felonies in the New York State penal code on the grounds that the conduct was intended to conceal another underlying crime, according to the source.

Under the New York State penal code, a conviction for the Class E felony of falsifying business records can result in a prison term of up to four years. But as a practical matter, that seems extremely unlikely. “No one gets jail time for that as a first offender,” said a New York law enforcement official.

The evidence for the underlying crime that escalated Trump’s alleged misdemeanors to felonies is still not clear and won’t be until the indictment is unsealed on Tuesday. But it is believed to relate to the payment of $130,000 in hush money to porn star Stormy Daniels during the closing weeks of the 2016 election to conceal an extramarital encounter with Trump.

Shortly after the report went live, the former president posted on his Truth Social account that Bragg “illegally” leaked the indictment and should resign.

“Wow! District Attorney Bragg just illegally LEAKED the various points, and complete information, on the pathetic Indictment against me. I know the reporter and so, unfortunately, does he,” the former president wrote. “This means that he MUST BE IMMEDIATELY INDICTED. Now, if he wants to really clean up his reputation, he will do the honorable thing and, as District Attorney, INDICT HIMSELF. He will go down in Judicial history, and his Trump Hating wife will be, I am sure, very proud of him!”

“D.A. BRAGG JUST ILLEGALLY LEAKED THE 33 points of Indictment. There are no changes or surprises from those he leaked days ago directly out of the Grand Jury. No Crime by Trump. What a MESS. Bragg should resign, NOW!” he said in a subsequent post.

As Breitbart News reported on Monday, the former president’s court appearance will be a “spectacle,” complete with a (sans handcuffs) perp walk and mugshot.

“Trump was offered a chance to surrender ‘quietly’ and be arraigned over Zoom, according to a law enforcement official involved with some of the planning, told Rolling Stone; however, the former president instead wanted to have a ‘midday, high-profile’ at the Manhattan courthouse,” said the report.

“The law enforcement official acknowledged that this would be a ‘nightmare’ for the Secret Service because they could only strongly suggest what the former president should do at his arraignment and not order him around,” it added.

Click here to read the full article at BreitbartCA

New York Grand Jury Indicts Donald Trump

A grand jury in New York has indicted former President Donald Trump, according to emerging reports.

“A Manhattan grand jury voted to indict Donald J. Trump on Thursday for his role in paying hush money to a porn star, according to four people with knowledge of the matter, a historic development that will shake up the 2024 presidential race and forever mark him as the nation’s first former president to face criminal charges,” the New York Times reported on Thursday evening.

“The felony indictment, filed under seal by the Manhattan district attorney’s office, will likely be announced in the coming days. By then, prosecutors working for the district attorney, Alvin L. Bragg, will have asked Mr. Trump to surrender and to face arraignment on charges that remain unknown for now.”

Trump, reacting to the news, bashed the decision as “Political Persecution and Election Interference at the highest level in history.”

From the time I came down the golden escalator at Trump Tower, and even before I was sworn in as your President of the United States, the Radical Left Democrats – the enemy of the hard-working men and women of this Country – have been engaged in a Witch-Hunt to destroy the Make America Great Again movement,” Trump said in a statement responding to the news he has been indicted. “You remember it just like I do: Russia, Russia, Russia; the Mueller Hoax; Ukraine, Ukraine, Ukraine; Impeachment Hoax 1; Impeachment Hoax 2; the illegal and unconstitutional Mar-a-Lago raid; and now this. The Democrats have lied, cheated and stolen in their obsession with trying to ‘Get Trump,’ but now they’ve done the unthinkable – indicting a completely innocent person in an act of blatant Election Interference. Never before in our Nation’s history has this been done. The Democrats have cheated countless times over the decades, including spying on my campaign, but weaponizing our justice system to punish a political opponent, who just so happens to be a President of the United States and by far the leading Republican candidate for President, has never happened before. Ever. Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg, who was hand-picked and funded by George Soros, is a disgrace. Rather than stopping the unprecedented crime wave taking over New York City, he’s doing Joe Biden’s dirty work, ignoring the murders and burglaries and assaults he should be focused on. This is how Bragg spends his time!

Trump added that he believes this will “backfire” on Democrat President Joe Biden, who he aims to defeat in next year’s general election.

“I believe this Witch-Hunt will backfire massively on Joe Biden,” Trump said. “The American people realize exactly what the Radical Left Democrats are doing here. Everyone can see it. So our Movement, and our Party – united and strong – will first defeat Alvin Bragg, and then we will defeat Joe Biden, and we are going to throw every last one of these Crooked Democrats out of office so we can MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”

Several other media outlets have since confirmed the reports, ranging from the Washington Post to Axios and more.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office issued a statement on Thursday evening confirming that Trump has been indicted, that the indictment remains under seal for now, and that the District Attorney’s office has been in touch with Trump’s lawyers about having the former president surrender for arraignment.

As for now, it remains unclear how and if Trump will appear in New York to face the charges but several reports in recent weeks have indicated that U.S. Secret Service agents assigned to Trump’s detail have been working with local officials in Bragg’s office to coordinate such a possibility.

“Mr. Bragg and his lawyers will likely attempt to negotiate Mr. Trump’s surrender,” the Times added in its report. “If he agrees, it will raise the prospect of a former president, with the Secret Service in tow, being photographed and fingerprinted in the bowels of a New York State courthouse. The prosecution’s star witness is Michael D. Cohen, Mr. Trump’s former fixer who paid the $130,000 to keep Ms. Daniels quiet. Mr. Cohen has said that Mr. Trump directed him to buy Ms. Daniels’s silence, and that Mr. Trump and his family business, the Trump Organization, helped cover the whole thing up. The company’s internal records falsely identified the reimbursements as legal expenses, which helped conceal the purpose of the payments.”

Trump is the first former president in American history to face criminal charges. Exactly how many charges he faces, and exactly what those charges are, remains unclear though CNN–citing anonymous sources–says the former president faces upwards of 30 different counts.

Since Trump is running again for president as well, this news would also throw a serious curveball into the political calculus for the 2024 presidential campaign–both in a primary and a general election. Several of Trump’s declared and possible rivals in the 2024 GOP primary denounced Bragg after Trump announced last weekend he expected to be indicted soon, and how each handled their response to it was critical for the possible or actual candidacies of each.

What’s more, congressional Republicans raced to respond to the news last week as well–with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy directing not one but three separate congressional panels to investigate Bragg in response. Bragg brushed off initial inquiries into the matter from House Oversight Committee chairman Rep. James Comer (R-KY), House Judiciary Committee chairman Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), and House Administration Committee chairman Rep. Bryan Steil (R-WI). Their response from here is almost certainly going to escalate.

Trump, for the last couple weeks, has criticized Bragg and his office, insisting that he is innocent and questioning why he would face charges. Trump also called for protests in response, something critics have latched onto to suggest he is intent on summoning a violent mob to do his bidding. Threats and suspicious packages received by Bragg’s office have only heightened scrutiny, and a photograph that appeared on Trump’s Truth Social account last week as part of an article he linked to criticizing Bragg further escalated matters.

Reactions to the news have been streaming in since it first broke Thursday evening, with several Republicans bashing the decision to indict Trump.

“This is not an indictment of a crime—there was no crime—instead, this news is the indictment of a failed nation,” Taylor Budowich, the CEO of Make America Great Again Inc., the pro-Trump 2024 Super PAC, said. “President Trump is promising to peacefully end the war in Ukraine, dismantle the deep state, and save our country by putting America first. For that, the political elites and powerbrokers have weaponized government to try and stop him. They will fail. He will be re-elected in the greatest landslide in American history, and together we will all Make America Great Again.”

House GOP conference chairwoman Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) said this only solidifies her decision to endorse Trump–which she did months ago when he announced he was running a third time for president–and that this move from Bragg proves he is “corrupt.”

“The unprecedented election interference from corrupt Socialist District Attorney Alvin Bragg is a political witch-hunt and a dark day for America,” Stefanik said. “The radical Far Left will stop at nothing to persecute Joe Biden’s chief political opponent ahead of the 2024 presidential election to suppress the will and voice of the American people.Tens of millions of patriotic Americans have never been so energized to exercise their constitutional rights to peacefully organize and VOTE at the ballot box to save our great republic by electing President Donald J. Trump in 2024.”

Ed Cox, the chairman of the New York state GOP, said in a statement that the indictment is a “miscarriage of justice, an outrageous violation of democratic norms and a travesty for our politics at home and reputation abroad.”

“Both the Southern District of New York and Joe Biden’s Department of Justice declined to pursue this matter. This is a blatant political scheme by Alvin Bragg to make a name for himself and play to his liberal Manhattan base by smearing, tearing down and demeaning former President Trump,” Cox added. “Alvin Bragg has already abdicated his basic responsibilities by releasing criminals back onto the streets to wreak havoc on New York’s citizens and minority communities in particular. He has brought further disgrace to his office with this political game. The great Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau is turning over in his grave.”

While some Democrats were exuberant and excited in their responses, some vulnerable Democrats were more measured–an indication of just how politically explosive this indictment is:

Even Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA), one of Trump’s biggest critics and usually someone who parrots the hard left’s rhetoric, was careful in his first statement:

Click here to read the full article in BreitbartCA

Trump indicted after Manhattan DA probe for hush money payments

The charges against Trump relate to payments made to Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 election

Former President Donald Trump has been indicted as part of the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office’s years-long investigation, possibly for hush money payments. 

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has been investigating Trump for hush money payments made leading up to the 2016 presidential election. 

These include the $130,000 payment made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels, and the $150,000 payment made to former Playboy model Karen McDougal, Fox News Digital has learned. 

Hush money payments made to both McDougal and Daniels were revealed and reported by Fox News in 2018. Those payments had been investigated by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York and by the Federal Election Commission. 

Federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York opted out of charging Trump related to the Stormy Daniels payment in 2019, even as Cohen implicated him as part of his plea deal. The Federal Election Commission also tossed its investigation into the matter in 2021.

“This is not an indictment of a crime—there was no crime—instead, this news is the indictment of a failed nation,” CEO of Make America Great Again Inc. super PAC Taylor Budowich said in a statement. “President Trump is promising to peacefully end the war in Ukraine, dismantle the deep state, and save our country by putting America first. For that, the political elites and powerbrokers have weaponized government to try and stop him. They will fail.” 

Budowich added: “He will be re-elected in the greatest landslide in American history, and together we will all Make America Great Again.” 

Bragg, when he took over as district attorney in January 2022, stopped pursuing charges against Trump and suspended the investigation “indefinitely,” according to one of the top prosecutors who resigned from the office in protest. 

Prosecutors Mark Pomerantz and Carey Dunne, who had been leading the investigation under former DA Cyrus Vance, submitted their resignations after Bragg began raising doubts about pursuing a case against Trump.

Trump, earlier this month, cited reports, which were based on what he called “illegal leaks,” that suggested he could be arrested on Tuesday, March 21. Trump posted about those reports on his TRUTH Social, leading the House Judiciary Committee to intervene, demanding Bragg testify before the panel. 

Republican lawmakers and allies of Trump blasted the investigation as a political prosecution and a “weaponization” of the office of the district attorney. 

Bragg, last week, claimed that Trump “created a false expectation” that his arrest was imminent, citing the former president’s TRUTH Social post, and slammed the committee for making an “unprecedented inquiry into a pending local prosecution.”

“The Letter only came after Donald Trump created a false expectation that he would be arrested the next day and his lawyers reportedly urged you to intervene,” Bragg wrote in a letter to the committee. “Neither fact is a legitimate basis for congressional inquiry.”

Last week, Robert Costello, a former legal advisor to Michael Cohen, testified before the grand jury last Monday that Cohen was a “serial liar,” and testified that Trump did not know about the payments made by Cohen to Daniels.

Bragg then canceled grand jury proceedings related to the Trump probe on Wednesday and Thursday. 

Sources, at the time, told Fox News Digital that there was “major dissension” within the district attorney’s office. One source claimed the district attorney is having trouble convincing the grand jury on potential charges due to the “weakness” of the case.

Cohen, in 2018, was sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty to federal charges, including tax evasion, lying to Congress, and campaign finance violations. Cohen pleaded guilty to arranging payments to Daniels and McDougal to prevent them from going public with alleged affairs with Trump, which Trump has repeatedly denied. 

Cohen has said Trump directed the payments—which the former president has denied for years. 

Cohen paid Daniels $130,000 through his own company and was later reimbursed by Trump’s company, which logged the payments as “legal expenses.” McDougal received $150,000 through the publisher of the supermarket tabloid the National Enquirer.

The Trump Organization “grossed up” Cohen’s reimbursement for Daniels’ payment for “tax purposes,” according to federal prosecutors who filed the 2018 criminal charges against Cohen for the payments. 

Trump has repeatedly denied wrongdoing with regard to the payments made to Daniels and McDougal, and has repeatedly said the payments were “not a campaign violation,” but rather a “simple private transaction.” 

The payments to Daniels were first revealed in January 2018 in a Wall Street Journal report that said Cohen and Daniels’ lawyer negotiated a nondisclosure agreement to prevent her from publicly discussing the supposed sexual encounter with Trump.

At the time, though, Cohen, Trump, and even Stormy Daniels denied the arrangement.

In January 2018, Cohen said the alleged encounter between Daniels and Trump was a rumor that had circulated “since 2011.”

And in a letter dated Jan. 10, 2018, obtained and reviewed by Fox News, Daniels also denied the allegations.

“I recently became aware that certain news outlets are alleging that I had a sexual and/or romantic affair with Donald Trump many, many, many years ago. I am stating with complete clarity that this is absolutely false,” Daniels wrote. “My involvement with Donald Trump was limited to a few public appearances and nothing more.”

Daniels wrote in the letter that when she met Trump, he was “gracious, professional and a complete gentleman to me and EVERYONE in my presence.”

“Rumors that I have received hush money from Donald Trump are completely false,” the letter read. “If indeed I did have a relationship with Donald Trump, trust me, you wouldn’t be reading about it in the news, you would be reading about it in my book. But the fact of the matter is, these stories are not true.”

“I recently became aware that certain news outlets are alleging that I had a sexual and/or romantic affair with Donald Trump many, many, many years ago. I am stating with complete clarity that this is absolutely false,” Daniels wrote. “My involvement with Donald Trump was limited to a few public appearances and nothing more.”

Daniels wrote in the letter that when she met Trump, he was “gracious, professional and a complete gentleman to me and EVERYONE in my presence.”

“Rumors that I have received hush money from Donald Trump are completely false,” the letter read. “If indeed I did have a relationship with Donald Trump, trust me, you wouldn’t be reading about it in the news, you would be reading about it in my book. But the fact of the matter is, these stories are not true.”

At the time, American Media Inc., “admitted that its principal purpose in making the payment was to suppress the woman’s story so as to prevent it from influencing the election.”

The charges against the former president come after the Federal Election Commission, in 2021, dropped its case on the same issue— examining whether Trump violated election law with the $130,000 payment made to Stormy Daniels, after it “failed by a vote of 2-2 to…find reason to believe that Donald J. Trump knowingly and willfully violated” federal election law.” 

The investigation into Trump was opened in 2019 by then-Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance. The probe was focused on possible bank, insurance and tax fraud. The case initially involved financial dealings of Trump’s Manhattan properties, including his flagship Fifth Avenue building, Trump Tower, and the valuation of his 213-acre estate Seven Springs in Westchester.

The investigation, last year, led to tax fraud charges against The Trump Organization, and its finance chief Allen Weisselberg.

Weisselberg was accused of collecting more than $1.7 million in off-the-books compensation, including apartment rent, car payments and school tuition.

Weisselberg, who pleaded guilty last year, was sentenced in January to five months in prison and five years of probation. His testimony last year helped convict the Trump Organization of tax fraud. 

Meanwhile, the charges against Trump come amid a separate, special counsel investigation into his alleged improper retention of classified records from his presidency at his Mar-a-Lago home.

Click here to read the full article at FoxNews

Potential 2024 Presidential Hopeful Implores GOP Not to Overlook California

With the 2024 presidential election on the horizon, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who is contemplating a run for the White House, has a message for Republicans in Orange County: “Californians will have a voice.”

Hutchinson, 72, is swinging through Orange County this week as he develops his message about the country’s future and mulls a presidential bid. A decision on that, he said in an interview Tuesday, March 21, will come in April.

But in the meantime, Hutchinson is visiting a blue California, speaking to a Republican Party of Orange County gathering and a Laguna Niguel Republican Women group this week before he headlines an event at the Nixon Library on Wednesday. And while here, he is imploring the national Republican Party to pay attention to California ahead of 2024.

“California is important. We can’t simply be a party that appeals to middle America,” Hutchinson said, referring to what is typically seen as more conservative-leaning states not on either coast. “We have to be a party that can win on the West Coast.”

While he’s optimistic about the future of the Republican Party, Hutchinson said a winning formula for the GOP is having a “consistent conservative nominee” who can attract suburban and independent voters. The party shouldn’t be hinged, he said, on a candidate who is “always looking in the rearview mirror.” While not a specific reference to former President Donald Trump, who is in the midst of his third bid for the White House, Hutchinson has said the Jan. 6 insurrection “disqualifies” Trump from being at the top of the ticket again.

An attorney with a long political history in Arkansas, Hutchinson defined conservativism as “believing in a limited role of government, individual responsibility, valuing life and the life of the unborn and a strong America that can lead in terms of freedom.”

His priorities range from reining in federal spending to increasing border security to implementing a “more consistent and fulsome energy policy.”

On that latter note, Hutchinson believes there is a balance to be had between producing energy — more of which he says should be happening in the U.S. — and being good stewards of the environment.

“You’ve got to see fossil fuel energy sources as part of the mix, but let’s use technology to make it more friendly to the environment,” he said. “I think you can use sound practices to continue to produce, but in a way that recognizes the importance of the environment and protecting it.”

On border issues, too, Hutchinson, a former Drug Enforcement Administration chief, is hopeful. His solution? Speed up decisions on asylum cases, utilize technology for border patrol and designate cartels as a “foreign terrorist organization” to free up additional resources to combat the influx of fentanyl into the country.

Hutchinson, a former congressman and Department of Homeland Security undersecretary during the George W. Bush administration, has made recent trips to Iowa and South Carolina.

His visit to Southern California comes about two weeks after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, also a potential 2024 contender, made appearances at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley and at a fundraiser for the Republican Party of Orange County.

DeSantis’ popularity among registered California Republican voters appears to be growing: A recent Berkeley IGS survey found the former congressman, 44, leading a field of potential GOP candidates with Trump in second place. (Hutchinson was not included in the list.)

But while DeSantis castigated California policies on his visit, from education to COVID-19 to public safety, Hutchinson said he wants to take a different approach to his potential rival — one that is more about comparing and contrasting rather than critiquing the state.

“I’m telling people what I’ve done and how I’ve led in Arkansas and my vision for the country,” Hutchinson said. “And my vision for the country, as I’ve articulated, I think makes sense in California, too.”

Despite the deep blue political makeup of California, Southern California is still seen as an asset for Republican candidates — because of its cash and the timing of the March 5 presidential primary, an opportunity for a competitor to nab an extraordinary amount of delegates for the nominating process.

Republicans in Orange County, Hutchinson said, seem to have “a strong sense of optimism for the future,” and he sees the GOP base in the Golden State as critical to the party’s overall success.

Click here to read the full article in the OC Register

Trump says He Expects to Be Arrested on Tuesday, Calls for Protests

NEW YORK, March 18 (Reuters) – Former U.S. President Donald Trump on Saturday said he expects to be arrested on Tuesday as New York prosecutors consider charges over a hush money payment to a porn star, and called on his supporters to protest.

“Illegal leaks from a corrupt & highly political Manhattan district attorney’s office … indicate that, with no crime being able to be proven … the far & away leading Republican candidate & former president of the United States of America, will be arrested on Tuesday of next week,” Trump wrote on Truth Social.

A spokesman for Trump said the former president had not been notified of any arrest. Trump provided no evidence of leaks from the district attorney’s office and did not discuss the possible charges in his post.

“Protest, take our nation back!” said Trump, whose supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 6, 2021, to try to overturn his 2020 presidential election defeat.

The probe comes as Trump seeks the Republican nomination for the presidency in 2024.

No U.S. president – while in office or afterward – has faced criminal charges. Trump has said he will continue campaigning even if he is charged with a crime.

A spokesperson for Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, whose office has been investigating a $130,000 hush payment Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen made to porn actor Stormy Daniels, declined to comment.

Sources have said Bragg’s office has been presenting evidence to a grand jury about the payment, which came in the waning days of Trump’s 2016 campaign in exchange for Daniels’ silence about an affair she said she had with Trump a decade earlier.

Trump has denied the affair happened and called the investigation by Bragg, a Democrat, a witch hunt.

An additional witness is expected to appear before the grand jury on Monday, at the request of Trump’s lawyers, a person familiar with the matter said on Saturday.

Trump’s statement that he expected to be arrested on Tuesday is based on news reports that Bragg’s office is going to be meeting with law enforcement to prepare for a possible indictment, said the person, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The Republican speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy, on Saturday decried the investigation.

“Here we go again — an outrageous abuse of power by a radical DA who lets violent criminals walk as he pursues political vengeance against President Trump,” McCarthy said on Twitter.


McCarthy’s predecessor as speaker, Democratic Representative Nancy Pelosi, who like McCarthy was present at the Capitol when hundreds of Trump supporters stormed the building, battling with police, denounced Trump’s call.

“The former president’s announcement this morning is reckless: doing so to keep himself in the news and to foment unrest among his supporters,” Pelosi said in a statement. “He cannot hide from his violations of the law, disrespect for our elections and incitements to violence.”

Trump’s former vice president Mike Pence told ABC News Trump’s possible indictment “just feels like a politically charged prosecution here.” Asked about Trump’s call for people to protest if he is indicted, Pence said he thinks protesters will understand “they need to do so peacefully and in a lawful manner.”

Bragg’s office earlier this month invited Trump to testify before the grand jury probing the payment, which legal experts said was a sign that an indictment was close. Trump declined the offer, the person familiar with the matter said.

Cohen pleaded guilty in 2018 to federal campaign finance violations tied to his arranging payments to Daniels and another woman in exchange for their silence about affairs they said they’d had with Trump, among other crimes. He has said Trump directed him to make the payments. The U.S. Attorney’s office in Manhattan did not charge Trump with a crime.

The probe is one of several legal woes Trump faces as he seeks the Republican nomination for the presidency.

Trump is also confronting a state-level criminal probe in Georgia over efforts to overturn the 2020 results in that state.

A special counsel named by U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland is currently investigating Trump’s handling of classified government documents after leaving office, as well as his efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election, which he lost to President Joe Biden, a Democrat.

Bragg’s office last year won the conviction of the Trump Organization on tax fraud charges. But Bragg declined to charge Trump himself with financial crimes related to his business practices, prompting two prosecutors who worked on the probe to resign.

Trump, who was in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Saturday and attended the NCAA wrestling championships, leads his early rivals for his party’s nomination. He had the support of 43% of Republicans in a February Reuters/Ipsos poll, compared with 31% for his nearest rival, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who has not yet announced his candidacy.

Trump in 2018 initially disputed knowing anything about the payment to Daniels. He later acknowledged reimbursing Cohen for the payment, which he called a “simple private transaction.”

Cohen, who served time in prison after pleading guilty, testified before the grand jury this week. Grand jury proceedings are not public. Outside the courthouse in lower Manhattan, he told reporters he did not testify out of a desire for revenge against Trump.

“This is all about accountability,” he said. “He needs to be held accountable for his dirty deeds.”

Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, spoke with prosecutors last week, according to her lawyer.

Trump founded his Truth Social media platform after being banned by Twitter, Facebook and YouTube following the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol. He has since regained his accounts on those services, though he limited his Saturday statement to Truth.

Click here to read the full article in Reuters