Categories
Crime Donald Trump Elections Fox News

Fox Hosts In New Legal Trouble – Accused Of Conspiring With Trump’s Attorneys To Spread Election Fraud Lies

Over at Fox News, they lie so often that they seem to think they have some sort of license to do so and are therefore immune to the same standards which apply to real journalists.

Now, however, the lies are catching up with some of the hosts who were eager to help spread the conspiracy theories and disinformation being pumped out by attorneys working for failed, one-term former President Donald Trump in the weeks after it became clear that Joe Biden had soundly thrashed Trump in both the popular and electoral vote.

Law & Crime reports that a new court filing makes it clear that Fox and its on-air personalities don’t have the right to hide behind the First Amendment when it comes to the truth:

“Smartmatic, the voting technology company that was the focus of multiple conspiracy theories surrounding the 2020 presidential election, asked a judge in New York to reject Fox News’s attempt to dismiss a lawsuit accusing the network and several anchors of knowingly engaging in a multi-month “disinformation campaign” against the company.

“The 120-page motion, filed Monday evening in New York state court, argued that Fox News and its employees cannot use the First Amendment as a shield against the demonstrably false claims laid out in the initial complaint.”

The lawsuit — which seeks damages of $2.7 billion from Fox — specifically names the following Fox hosts for engaging in coordinated “disinformation campaign” that damaged Smartmatic’s reputation and threatened its existence as a company: Maria Bartiromo, Jeanine Pirro, and Lou Dobbs. Dobbs has since been dismissed from the network.

The motion from Smartmatic’s attorneys states:

“This is not a game. The First Amendment does not provide the Fox Defendants a Get Out Of Jail Free card. The Fox Defendants do not get a do-over with their reporting now that they have been sued.”

Fox’s attorney, former U.S. Solicitor General Paul Clement, argued that the network had a right to report on what was being said about the 2020 election:

“This suit strikes at the heart of the First Amendment. Smartmatic’s theory is fundamentally incompatible with the reality of the modern news network and deeply rooted principles of free speech law.

“In short, FOX did exactly what the First Amendment protects: It ensured that the public had access to newsmakers and unquestionably newsworthy information that would help foster ‘uninhibited, robust, and wide-open’ debate on rapidly developing events of unparalleled importance.”

But Smartmatic had the perfect comeback to such a claim:

“The Fox Defendants solicited and published calculated falsehoods about Smartmatic. They enjoy no protection or immunity pursuant to the First Amendment or New York law. The motions filed by the Fox Defendants are predicated on a version of events that they may now wish took place, but did not.

“The Fox anchors knew what Giuliani and Powell would say on their shows, asked questions to elicit lies about Smartmatic, and endorsed Giuliani’s and Powell’s investigation. The Fox anchors added their own defamatory comments about Smartmatic for good measure. This was a scripted performance by the Fox anchors, Giuliani, and Powell to defame and disparage Smartmatic for personal gain.”

As the Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled, there are limits to the First Amendment, and one of them protects us from those who seek to defame our reputation or choose to tell lies about us. Fox needs to learn that lesson, and it may well take a multibillion dollar verdict to make sure they do.

 

Categories
Crime Donald Trump Elections

Trump’s Legal Exposure Increases: Multiple Grand Juries Are Now Investigating Him In Georgia

Failed, one-term former President Donald Trump probably didn’t think it was possible for his legal problems to get any worse, but he was wrong, as there are now two grand juries in Georgia investigating him for trying to pressure election officials in the Peach State to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential race.

The Daily Beast reports that Fulton County, Georgia, District Attorney Fani Willis expects those grand juries to start handing down subpoenas for relevant documents “in the very near future”:

“In interviews with Willis, her staff, five former members of the team, and several people who interacted with them, The Daily Beast has learned there are now two grand juries underway in Fulton County, and jurors in these secret proceedings will soon be asked to issue subpoenas demanding documents and recordings related to the Trump investigation.

“‘I suspect that’s in the very near future,’ Willis told The Daily Beast.”

Willis and the grand juries are taking a close look at a phone call Trump made on January 2 of last year to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in which he pressured the election chief to “find 11,780 votes” so it would look like he had won the state instead of President Joe Biden, who became the first Democrat since Bill Clinton in 1992 to garner the state’s 16 Electoral College votes. In a very real sense, the results from Georgia sealed Trump’s fate and made it clear he had lost support even in the Deep South, where he was thought to be invulnerable.

As a result of that infamous call, Trump is facing the possibility of being charged with racketeering in Georgia, where the penalty for that crime carries a prison term of 20 years.

How serious is Willis about sending Trump to prison for racketeering? Considering a hire she recently made for the investigation, it certainly sounds like she expects to charge him and will recommend that to the grand juries she has impaneled:

“Willis has publicly acknowledged that she also hired John E. Floyd, a nationally-renowned expert on state RICO charges, who is expected to consult this team. That’s relevant, given that her office is looking into the potential use of racketeering charges against Trump’s inner circle. Prosecutors would have to prove a pattern of corruption—the same way they show that mafia bosses direct underlings. Their mission would be to show that Trump and his lieutenants conspired in a ‘criminal enterprise’ to undermine a legitimate election.”

Willis also says she doesn’t care if prosecuting a former Republican president in a state as conservative as Georgia costs her reelection in 2024:

“My philosophy is just: We’re going to call balls and strikes. And it is what it is. We’re just going to use the law and the facts. I’m not going to worry about the politics of that. And I do understand what I’m saying. If that means I’m only the DA for one term… that’ll be what God has me do for these four years.”

Fani Willis is Donald Trump’s worst nightmare made flesh: A strong, self-assured black woman who doesn’t have to kowtow to him and can destroy what’s left of his pathetic little con game.

Categories
Elections The Trump Adminstration WTF?!

Melania Asked If She’d Get A Taxpayer-Funded ‘Budget’ After Leaving The White House

Donald and Melania Trump are now residents of Florida, residing at the former president’s Mar-a-Lago resort.

But according to CNN, before her husband left office, the former first lady wanted to know if she could get more goodies and taxpayers foot the bill for them:

“In mid-November, as President Donald Trump railed against the election results, his wife, first lady Melania Trump publicly agreed with his sentiments. But privately, a handful of days after the final state tally, the first lady tasked an emissary with discreetly finding out what was available to her in terms of budget and staff allocation for post-White House life.”

Budget and staff? Really? Haven’t she and her husband fleeced the Treasury out of enough money already?

The answer to Melania’s query came back quickly:

“The short answer is no. While there are post-presidential perks for such things for the outgoing commander in chief, budgets to set up an official office and staff and cover some travel costs, there is nothing from the government for any first lady, save a paltry $20,000-a-year pension, which is paid out only if her husband dies.”

All of this led to some interesting commentary on Twitter:

As the old saying reminds us, A grifter is always gonna grift.

 

Categories
Donald Trump Elections Espionage Russia

New Intel Report Suggests Giuliani Worked As Go-Between For Russia In 2020 Election

A bombshell report from the U.S. National Intelligence Council makes clear that Russia and Russian President Vladimir Putin attempted to once again help Donald Trump win reelection in 2020, and it also seems to suggest that the go-between for Russia was none other than Rudy Giuliani.
The New York Times reports that while the intelligence report doesn’t specifically name any individual, the language used in the report clearly points in Guiliani’s direction:
“President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia authorized extensive efforts to interfere in the American presidential election to denigrate the candidacy of Joseph R. Biden Jr., including intelligence operations to influence people close to former President Donald J. Trump, according to a declassified intelligence report released Tuesday. “The report did not name those people but seemed to be a reference to the work of Mr. Trump’s former personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani, who relentlessly pushed allegations of corruption about Mr. Biden and his family involving Ukraine. “’Russian state and proxy actors who all serve the Kremlin’s interests worked to affect U.S. public perceptions in a consistent manner,’ the report said.”
Think back several months to when it became clear that Joe Biden had all of the momentum and would be the Democratic nominee. Giuliani made multiple appearances on Fox News and other right-wing media outlets to suggest that he was on the verge of releasing information that would supposedly prove criminal actions on the part of Biden or his son, Hunter. Despite his promises that such information was forthcoming, the former New York City mayor never came up with anything other than rumors and accusations devoid of any substantiation.
At the center of the efforts to smear Biden was the nation of Ukraine, which Giuliani even visited, as The Hill noted back in December of 2019:
“Giuliani met with multiple Ukrainian officials as he continued his effort to counter House Democrats’ impeachment probe and paint an investigation into the Bidens as a matter critical to the relationship between the two countries.”
Additionally, the key figure in the effort to dig up negative information on the Biden family was also of Ukrainian origin:
“Moscow used Andriy Derkach, a pro-Russian member of Ukraine’s parliament, to undermine Mr. Biden, the report detailed. Mr. Derkach, according to the report, released leaked phone calls to undermine Mr. Biden and link him to Ukrainian corruption four times in 2020. The report said Mr. Putin ‘had purview’ over the actions of Mr. Derkach, who had ties to Russian intelligence. “Moscow’s operatives also pushed a false narrative that Ukraine, not Russia, was responsible for interfering in American politics, according to the report. Last year, American intelligence officials told Congress that Russia was using allies to pushing negative stories about Mr. Biden’s son Hunter and his work in Ukraine.”
Giuliani’s efforts on Trump and Russia’s behalf could place him in severe legal jeopardy if the Department of Justice chooses to file charges against him. Rudy didn’t receive a pardon before Trump left office, and that could come back to be a very big deal. No matter what happens, the intelligence report makes clear that both Russia and Giuliani were working fervently to get Trump reelected. Fortunately for the United States (and the world), they were unsucessful.
Categories
Donald Trump Elections WTF?!

Mike Huckabee’s Conspiracy Theory About Donald Trump Winds Up Biting Him Right On The A*s

It’s been a little while since we last heard from former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, and that’s certainly a good thing, because he almost never has anything productive to say.

But Huckabee is back, and he tried to float a moronic conspiracy theory about Donald Trump and the 2020 election which only served to leave him with egg on his face.

Huckabee sent out this tweet suggesting that Trump won the state of Georgia, even though three recounts suggested otherwise:

But as Stephen Fowler of Georgia Public Broadcasting pointed out, the numbers don’t add up:

That led to the former governor getting a thorough mocking on social media: