Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Last Call For Garbage In, Garbage Out

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez is the first GOP presidential hopeful casualty after this month's debate, having failed to make the cut for the dog and pony show, Suarez is slinking back to Magic City.

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez announced Tuesday that he is ending his campaign for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.

“While I have decided to suspend my campaign for President, my commitment to making this a better nation for every American remains,” Suarez said in a statement.

Suarez’s move comes after he failed to fully meet the requirements set by the Republican National Committee to make the first presidential debate in Milwaukee last week. He had told CNN prior to the debate that candidates who do not make the stage should drop out – even if that included himself.

“I look forward to keeping in touch with the other Republican presidential candidates and doing what I can to make sure our party puts forward a strong nominee who can inspire and unify the country, renew Americans’ trust in our institutions and in each other, and win,” Suarez said Tuesday.

Suarez launched his long-shot bid for the presidency just over two months ago, in mid-June, urging Republicans to unify and evoking Ronald Reagan’s call for the party to rebuild its “big tent” coalition.

The son of Cuban immigrants, Suarez was the lone major Hispanic candidate in the Republican primary, which includes two higher-profile fellow Floridians: former President Donald Trump and Gov. Ron DeSantis.

“I will continue to amplify the voices of the Hispanic community – the fastest-growing voting group in our country. The Left has taken Hispanics for granted for far too long, and it is no surprise that so many are finding a home in America’s conservative movement,” he said Tuesday.

Over his short-lived campaign, Suarez acknowledged he did not have the same name recognition as many of his GOP rivals.

“My opponents have been national figures for many years. I’ve been a national figure for 60 days. So, you know, I’m competing from behind,” Suarez said earlier this month at the Iowa State Fair.

He ultimately did not meet the polling criteria set by the RNC to make the Milwaukee debate stage, his campaign said. Candidates had to register at least 1% support in three national polls or in two national and two early-state polls that met the RNC’s criteria.

Nobody noticed his arrival, and nobody cares about his departure. Republicans in 2023 don't want a big tent, they want a big gun. Suarez's pre-Trump philosophy failed to get him noticed even in a room with Doug Burgum and Asa Hutchinson, not even enough to be a meme or a joke.

Garbage in, garbage out. It's Trump's party, with Trump's voters, and Trump's hatreds. Nobody else matters.

The Big Lie, Con't

James Saunders, the 56-year-old Shaker Heights tax attorney convicted last week of voting multiple times in the last two general elections, was sentenced to three years in prison, a judge decided Monday morning.

Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Andrew Santoli coupled Saunders' sentence with a $10,000 fine, a punishment, as Santoli detailed in last week's hearing, to match the severe violation against the nation's voting laws.

"You violated the premise that every citizen, regardless of race, creed or religion, speaks in one voice," Santoli told Saunders from the bench last Monday. "Your opinion does not outweigh other citizens."

Throughout the case, the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office presented evidence that Saunders, who traveled regularly to a second home in Pompano Beach, Florida, attempted to cross states lines to vote multiple times, by mail and in person in Broward and Cuyahoga counties.

The case of election fraud was the first of its kind in 2023, county prosecutors present at trial told Scene. Because Saunders' duplicitous votes infringed on federal law, his actions in Florida were under Santoli's, and the court's, jurisdiction.

For both prosecutors present at trial and for Chief Prosecutor Michael O'Malley, the Saunders trial—and its steep sentencing—was a clear deterrent to future violators.

"One person one vote is the foundation of our democracy," O'Malley wrote in a statement. "I think the message is clear: do no commit election fraud in Cuyahoga County."
The system works, and it catches the actual vote cheaters.
And you know what?
It caught Trump and his merry band of clowns too.

Orange Meltdown, Con't

Federal Judge Tanya Chutkan made good Monday on her admonishment of Donald Trump's social media attacks, setting the trial for his role in January 6th insurrection on March 4 of next year.
Judge Tanya Chutkan delivered that ruling after rejecting two wildly different trial schedules proposed by Trump’s attorneys and special counsel Jack Smith’s federal prosecutors.

The Department of Justice’s suggestion to take the case to trial on Jan. 2 “does not” give Trump enough time to prepare, Chutkan said in a Monday morning hearing in U.S. District Court in Washington.

But Trump’s proposal for an April 2026 trial date went “far beyond what is necessary,” the judge said, NBC News reported.

The jury selection process in the D.C. case is currently set to begin one day before Super Tuesday, the biggest day of elections in the presidential primary cycle.

Trump’s attorney John Lauro quickly rose to protest the trial schedule.

“In our judgment, that trial date is inconsistent with President Trump’s right to due process and the right to effective assistance of counsel,” Lauro said in the hearing. The judge noted his objection before moving on.
Fani Willis had asked for that date for Trump's Georgia trial, so we'll see when that gets scheduled, but again, this is the day before the Super Tuesday primaries. I don't think Trump's going to be complaining too loudly about that schedule. But he did complain anyway.

Trump vowed to appeal the decision as he attacked the judge on social media.

“Today a biased, Trump Hating Judge gave me only a two month extension, just what our corrupt government wanted,” Trump wrote in a livid social media post Monday afternoon.

“I will APPEAL!” he declared.
 You do that, champ. See how far that gets you with this judge.
Meanwhile we've now reached the point where the mobsters under Don Tangerini here are trying to get away with "I was only following his orders"

A former top White House aide to Donald Trump made a last-ditch bid to scuttle his upcoming trial for contempt of Congress, testifying to a federal judge on Monday that Trump “directed” him to defy the House Jan. 6 select committee.

Peter Navarro, a top trade adviser who pushed discredited claims of fraud about the 2020 election during Trump’s final days in office, is scheduled to go to trial Sept. 5 on criminal contempt charges for refusing to comply with a subpoena from the committee.

But Navarro has argued that Trump asserted executive privilege to shield him from having to cooperate with the committee’s request for testimony and documents. If Judge Amit Mehta agrees, he may order the charges dismissed.

At Monday’s hearing, Navarro took the stand and described his communications with Trump and his aides about two congressional subpoenas he received: one from the Jan. 6 panel and another from a separate congressional committee investigating the coronavirus pandemic.

Navarro said Trump communicated to him that he had invoked executive privilege, a legal doctrine that allows the president to withhold certain confidential communications from the other branches of government. Navarro’s lawyer, Stanley Woodward, asked Navarro if he went to a Jan. 6 select committee deposition.

“I was directed by the president not to,” Navarro replied.

Mehta’s decision is likely to turn on whether he buys Navarro’s description of his conversations with Trump, which were not backed by any documents or written confirmation that have accompanied other privilege assertions that Trump has made. 

"I can't be in contempt for not testifying if Trump ordered me not to and you can't prove he didn't so you must dismiss the case" is the most ballsy thing I've heard from Trump's motley crew so far.

Former Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows took the witness stand in federal court Monday in a bid to get the criminal case charging him with tampering with the 2020 presidential election results moved out of state court and, ultimately, dismissed.

Meadows spent more than two and a half hours testifying during the morning session, declaring that he took an extremely wide-ranging view of his responsibilities as chief of staff and viewed that role as encompassing nearly all his actions prosecutors say amounted to corrupt pressure on Georgia officials.

If a federal judge agrees that Meadows’ actions plausibly fell within the scope of his federal duties, the case may get moved into federal court, and Meadows may be immune from the charges against him, which prosecutors brought under state law. Other defendants in the case, including Donald Trump himself, are expected to raise similar immunity arguments.
“It was a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week kind of job,” Meadows said during questioning by his lead attorney, George Terwilliger III. “It was a very broad responsibility. … I found myself on defense a lot with things coming at me from a million different directions.”

Meadows’ appearance was a gamble by his defense team, opening him to cross examination by the prosecution and locking him into a specific description of events in a way that will be difficult for him to vary from if the case goes to trial.

However, it gave Meadows a chance to try personally to persuade U.S. District Court Judge Steve C. Jones that the charges brought by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis following a lengthy grand jury investigation intrude on fundamental federal responsibilities. Earlier this month, Willis charged Trump, Meadows and 17 other defendants with a sprawling “criminal enterprise” aimed at overturning the election in Georgia and other states.

Monday’s hearing was one of the only times Meadows — a former Republican member of Congress and once a ubiquitous power player in Washington — has been heard from in a public forum since Jan. 6, 2021.
The thing is Meadows will probably get away with it and he knows it.
We'll see.


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