Connect with us

Politics

Judge Orders Release of More Mar-a-Lago Search Warrant Information in Trump Classified Docs Case

Published

on

In connection with the former president’s case involving classified documents, a judge ruled that more parts of the federal government’s search warrant affidavit for Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence can now be made public.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart wrote Wednesday that more sealed parts of the affidavit that was used in the FBI raid in August 2022 “should be unsealed.” However, the entirety of the affidavit shouldn’t be unsealed, he wrote, giving the Department of Justice (DOJ) until July 13 to appeal.

In an order (pdf), Mr. Reinhart, who approved the unprecedented Mar-a-Lago FBI search, wrote that the federal government “has met its burden of showing that its proposed redactions of the affidavit are narrowly tailored to serve the government’s legitimate interests and are the least onerous alternative to sealing the entire search warrant affidavit.” It came in response to a petition from media outlets to unseal the affidavit, which he denied.

In the meantime, the judge noted that the Justice Department had concurred in a sealed filing that some portions of the search warrant might be made public. To comply with “grand jury secrecy rules and to protect investigative sources and methods,” other portions should be kept confidential.

When and how the affidavit’s less-redacted version will be filed, as well as how the new details will be made public, are unknown.

The search warrant affidavit was made public by the DOJ in redacted form in August of last year and in a version with fewer redactions in September. The reasons why investigators believed crimes had been committed at Mr. Trump’s home, however, were not fully disclosed.

Mr. Trump was charged with mishandling classified information, including materials related to national defense, on 37 counts last month. Along with other offenses, Mr. Trump was accused of making false statements and conspiring to obstruct the course of justice. To all of the accusations, the former president has entered a not guilty plea.

Authorities claim that Mr. Trump flaunted the documents to individuals who lacked security clearance to review them and later attempted to hide information from his own attorneys as they worked to abide by court orders requiring the discovery and return of documents. The most serious offenses can result in a 20-year prison sentence.

Mr. Trump, on his Truth Social app last month, called his indictment “a DARK DAY for the United States of America.” In a video, he said, “I’m innocent and we will prove that very, very soundly and hopefully very quickly.”

Late in June, U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon rejected a Justice Department request to put 84 potential witnesses’ names under seal so that Mr. Trump, the front-runner in the 2024 Republican presidential primary, would not be allowed to discuss the case with them while it is still pending in court. Ms. Cannon stated that, in her opinion, the Justice Department failed to provide sufficient justification for either the need to file the list with the court or the need to keep the list sealed from public view.

Mar-a-Lago

“The Government’s Motion does not explain why filing the list with the Court is necessary,” the judge wrote in her June 26 order. “It does not offer a particularized basis to justify sealing the list from public view; it does not explain why partial sealing, redaction, or means other than sealing are unavailable or unsatisfactory; and it does not specify the duration of any proposed seal,” she added.

The 14th of July will serve as the date for a pretrial conference to discuss issues pertaining to the Classified Information Procedures Act.

Previously, the DOJ’s special counsel, Jack Smith, who is in charge of the numerous cases against Trump, suggested scheduling Mr. Trump’s trial for December 11 in order to postpone the judge’s original August date. Ms. Cannon instructed defense counsel to reply by July 6 to this request.

Trump has maintained his lead in the polls despite the negative coverage. According to a Fox News poll conducted last week, the 45th president has a 34 percent advantage over Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, while Mike Pence, the former vice president, is in third place with just 3 percent of the vote.

In a hypothetical head-to-head contest today, according to a Quinnipiac poll released around the same time, Mr. Trump would prevail over President Joe Biden, a Democrat. According to the poll, Mr. Trump has 47% of the vote to Mr. Biden’s 46%.

Walt Nauta, a former White House valet who is a co-defendant in the case, is scheduled to be arraigned this Thursday.

Earlier this year, Mr. Trump was accused of falsifying business records in relation to payments made during the 2016 presidential campaign by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office. In an April court appearance in Manhattan, the former president entered a plea of not guilty to the charges, denying any wrongdoing.

The Epoch Times contacted Mr. Smith’s office for comment on Wednesday, no response yet.

Politics

Democrats Block SAVE Act in Senate, Allowing Potential for Illegal Immigrant Voting

Published

on

Senate Democrats have thwarted the passage of the SAVE Act, a pivotal bill aimed at bolstering the integrity of federal elections by mandating proof of citizenship for voting eligibility. This move follows the House’s approval of the bill with a narrow vote of 221-198, where almost all Democrats opposed the measure.

The SAVE Act seeks to amend the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 to enforce stricter voter registration standards. Specifically, it proposes that voters must furnish documentary evidence of U.S. citizenship to participate in federal elections, diverging from current regulations that only require such proof for state and local elections.

Senator Mike Lee, commending Representative Chip Roy for the bill’s passage, emphasized the necessity for Senate action, asserting, “Federal elections are only for U.S. citizens.”

However, despite efforts to expedite the bill in the Senate, Democrats raised objections, preventing its immediate passage. Senator Lee expressed frustration over the blockage, highlighting the potential consequences: “It’ll stop noncitizens from voting.”

In a statement on the Senate floor, Senator Lee voiced deep concerns, citing a recent study revealing significant opportunities for illegal voting by noncitizens. The study indicated that between 10% to 27% of noncitizens are registered to vote, with 5% to 13% actually participating in presidential elections.

Instances of voter fraud, including noncitizens illegally registered to vote, have been documented across the country. Reports have surfaced of unsolicited voter registration forms sent to noncitizens and inadequate checks during driver’s license issuance, contributing to vulnerabilities in the electoral system.

A video shared by Mike Howell, Executive Director of the Heritage Oversight Project, in collaboration with Muckraker.com, further underscored concerns. The video exposed instances of illegal aliens admitting to voter registration in North Carolina, emphasizing the need to safeguard American elections from foreign influence.

The SAVE Act’s blockade in the Senate has ignited a contentious debate over electoral integrity and the role of citizenship in voting rights. As the legislative battle continues, the future of federal voting regulations remains uncertain, with implications for the upcoming 2024 elections.

Continue Reading

2024 Race

Wisconsin Supreme Court Reinstates Unstaffed Drop Boxes Ahead of 2024 Election

Published

on

In a significant ruling on July 5, the Wisconsin Supreme Court decided to reinstate the use of unstaffed drop boxes for absentee ballots, reversing the prohibition that had been in effect since 2022. The court’s 4–3 decision marks a pivotal change in Wisconsin’s election procedures ahead of the 2024 elections.

In 2022, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that state law did not allow for absentee drop boxes to be placed anywhere other than in election clerk offices. This decision effectively banned the use of unmanned drop boxes, which had been widely utilized in previous elections to facilitate absentee voting.

The reversal of the 2022 ruling was influenced by a change in the court’s composition. A new justice was elected in 2023, which led to a re-evaluation of the previous decision. During the arguments in May, Justice Jill Karofsky questioned the validity of the 2022 ruling, suggesting that it may have been a mistake. “What if we just got it wrong? What if we made a mistake? Are we now supposed to just perpetuate that mistake into the future?” Karofsky asked during the proceedings.

The court heard arguments three months before the August 13 primary and six months ahead of the November presidential election. Attorneys representing Republican backers of the 2022 ruling contended that there had been no changes in the facts or the law to justify overturning a decision that was less than two years old. Misha Tseytlin, at torney for the Republican-controlled Legislature, argued that overturning the ruling could lead to future instability, as the court might have to revisit the issue whenever its composition changes.

However, Justice Karofsky countered this by pointing out the potential flaws in the 2022 decision, questioning whether the court should continue to uphold a ruling that was “egregiously wrong from the start” with “exceptionally weak” reasoning and damaging consequences.

Democrats and voting rights advocates argued that the 2022 ruling misinterpreted the law by concluding that absentee ballots could only be returned to a clerk’s office and not to a drop box controlled by the clerk. David Fox, attorney for the groups challenging the prohibition, described the current law as unworkable and unclear about where ballots can be returned.

Several justices expressed concerns about revisiting the previous ruling, with Justice Rebecca Bradley cautioning against the court acting as a “super Legislature” and giving municipal clerks excessive discretion in conducting elections.

The case was brought by voter mobilization group Priorities USA and the Wisconsin Alliance for Retired Voters. Governor Tony Evers and the Wisconsin Elections Commission, which oversees the state’s elections, supported the use of drop boxes. Election officials from four counties, including the state’s two largest, also filed briefs in support of overturning the prohibition, arguing that drop boxes had been used securely for decades.

The plaintiffs’ attorneys highlighted the practical impact of the 2022 ruling, noting that over 1,600 absentee ballots arrived late and were not counted in the 2022 election when drop boxes were not in use. By contrast, in the 2020 election, when drop boxes were available, only 689 ballots arrived after Election Day, despite a significantly higher number of absentee voters.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court’s decision to reinstate unstaffed drop boxes is a crucial development in the state’s election laws, potentially increasing accessibility and convenience for absentee voters. As the 2024 elections approach, this ruling may have significant implications for voter turnout and the administration of elections in Wisconsin.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Continue Reading

Election News

Far-Left Alliance Claims Victory in French Legislative Elections Amid Allegations of Electoral Controversy

Published

on

In a surprising turn of events, the socialist-communist New Popular Front alliance has emerged victorious in France’s snap legislative elections, prompting widespread scrutiny over the electoral process and political maneuvers. The coalition, led by Jean-Luc Mélenchon, secured the most seats in Sunday’s final round, overshadowing President Emmanuel Macron’s coalition and relegating Marine Le Pen’s National Rally to third place.

Following the announcement of his alliance’s success, Mélenchon swiftly issued demands to President Macron, calling for either his resignation or the appointment of a prime minister from their ranks. This move underscores the dramatic shift in French politics, with Macron’s Prime Minister Gabriel Attal announcing his resignation in response to the coalition’s victory, signaling potential changes at the highest levels of government.

The electoral outcome has ignited controversy and speculation, particularly concerning allegations of strategic alliances and questionable tallying methods. Macron’s decision to align with the far-left to thwart the populist rise has raised eyebrows across Europe, with critics questioning the president’s political calculations and the potential consequences for France’s future governance.

Initially projected by exit polls to secure between 172 to 192 seats, the New Popular Front fell short of an absolute majority, requiring potential coalition-building efforts to effectively govern. Macron’s coalition, projected to win between 150 to 170 seats, now faces the prospect of negotiating with the far-left to maintain political control, highlighting the fragmentation within French politics.

The election results have highlighted the deep divisions within French society, exacerbated by Macron’s contentious decision to form an alliance aimed at preventing a National Rally majority. Critics, including Marine Le Pen, have decried what they describe as an “unnatural agreement” between Macron and the far-left, accusing the establishment of manipulating the electoral process to maintain power.

The fallout from these elections extends beyond political strategy, with concerns over potential social unrest looming large. Paris and other major cities have ramped up security measures in anticipation of possible protests and demonstrations, underscoring the volatile political climate in France.

As France navigates the aftermath of these divisive elections, the focus remains on the implications for governance, stability, and the future direction of French politics. The rise of the far-left alliance and its demands for leadership change have set the stage for a period of intense political maneuvering and uncertainty in the heart of Europe.

Continue Reading

Trending