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Trump's Paid-Speech Outfit Shows Signs Of Severe Financial Trouble

Former President Trump’s many scandals and compounding legal troubles — though consolidating his base — have wrought a financial blowback that’s wrecking business entities affiliated with him, the latest of which is the company organizing his paid speeches.

According to the Washington Post, the American Freedom Tour, a company that’s promoted a slate of paid appearances by the twice-impeached ex-president, is now financially hard-pressed to pay its vendors, investors, and employees.

The company organized glitzy events that allowed Trump supporters to see the former president and a host of right-wing pundits and conspiracy theorists for a fee ranging from $55 to over $4,000.

The proceeds of the Trump for-profit speeches organized by the American Freedom Tour — part of a multimillion-dollar deal with the former president — went directly into Trump’s pockets, the Post reported last July, citing unnamed sources privy to the matter.

Trump, who advisers say joined the tour with little vetting, is one of the few people who have reportedly seen a payday from the beleaguered company. Several other speakers have yet to be paid in full, if at all.

The tour’s failure to pay its bills had led to the exit of two of its executives, mass cancellation of previously scheduled events, and condemnation from a slate of angry investors, speakers, and even Trump allies who had thrown their support behind the company, according to the Post.

At the start of the tour, investors were promised a 20 percent return on their investments, but when the payments were due six months later, the American Freedom Tour failed to remit the payments, the Post noted, citing an internal loan document.

The tour’s organizer, Brian J. Forte — much like the company’s most celebrated patron, Trump — is a motivational speaker and promoter with a litany of bankruptcy filings and business disputes across the country.

Forte pleaded with investors in March for more time to make payments, but by August, the tour still hadn’t made its payments.

“We needed a little more time,” Forte said. “The investment is intact. Please bear with us a couple of weeks.”

Unpaid investors soon threatened legal action against the tour if it didn’t pay their investments and promised interest in full. “If the company doesn’t pay, the group wants Forte to step aside and give them control of the company… Otherwise, they said they will sue,” the Post wrote.

“We are awaiting payment and now four months overdue,” a consultant leading the local GOP in Austin, Matt Mackowiak, warned via email, per the Post. “I will get loud and litigious if not paid by [the] end of [the] week.”

Republican media consultant Larry Ward, a spokesperson for the tour, has tried to play down the crisis as an unfortunate outcome of “unforeseen scheduling issues.”

“Unforeseen scheduling issues for the programs caused a delay, and we asked a limited number of investors if their payment could be delayed until November,” Ward said.“We are working very hard to make them whole, and we are confident they will be made whole very soon.”

Financial pressure bearing down on the business caused it to adopt deplorable practices, said the Post, including selling tickets online for events it knew were unlikely to hold, one of which was its planned August 20 event in Milwaukee.

Dale Ainge, the tour’s former chief financial officer, one of the aforementioned executives who left the company, told the Post that before his exit, the tour defaulted on two of its loans, incurring the outcry of its lenders.

“They had to cancel a couple events, which caused some financial issues,” he said. “They were behind on things. They were behind on payments. So for me to say, what kind of financial position they’re in? They were a little bit behind in a couple of the notes. There were a couple accounts payable that were past 60 days.”

The other executive who left, Chris Widener, the company’s former president, directed requests for repayment to the company as he had already resigned. “As you know from reaching out a few weeks ago looking for your payment, I resigned from the American freedom tour on August 3rd,” Widener said. “You are definitely owed the money and should be paid promptly.”

The American Freedom Tour is hinging its hopes for a comeback on an upcoming black-tie gala at Mar-a-Lago, where the FBI raided in August and seized thousands of secret government records, including over a hundred classified documents, that the former president had retained illegally after his tenure.

Spending time with the former President at the event, which includes a poolside reception and a formal ballroom dinner, could cost eventgoers $10,000, while dinner and a photo with Trump would cost a whopping $40,000. According to the Post, “a private library meeting with Trump [at the event] is so pricey that it’s only listed as: ‘INQUIRE BELOW.’”

Margie Greene's Husband Files For Divorce, Saying Marriage Is 'Broken'

Outspoken MAGA firebrand and Christian nationalist Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) — who unleashed a litany of falsehoods, including the Big Lie, at a GOP gala — is headed for splitsville after her husband of 27 years filed for divorce on Wednesday, citing an “irretrievably broken” marriage.

The divorce petition — filed in Georgia Superior Court of Floyd County and reported by multiple news outlets — stated that Rep. Greene and her husband, Perry Greene, had been “previously separated and remain in a bona fide state of separation.”

Perry Greene, who initiated the split, asked for an “equitable division” of the couple’s assets and debt and that forthcoming filings pertaining to the divorce be sealed as the "sensitive personal and financial information” unveiled in the case “would negatively impact the parties’ privacy interests,” according to The Hill.

“The Court should allow all filings to be made under seal in this case because the parties’ significant privacy interest in sealing the records outweighs the public’s minuscule interest in access to said records,” the motion read, per Bloomberg.

The Hill noted in its report that Rep. Greene had signed a document in the court docket affirming receipt of her husband’s divorce filing.

Requesting privacy while the divorce proceedings are sorted out, Rep. Greene issued a statement to news outlets extolling her estranged husband:

“Marriage is a wonderful thing, and I’m a firm believer in it. Our society is formed by a husband and wife creating a family to nurture and protect,” Rep. Greene told Fox News. “Our society is formed by a husband and wife creating a family to nurture and protect. Together, Perry and I formed our family and raised three great kids. He gave me the best job title you can ever earn: Mom. I’ll always be grateful for how great of a dad he is to our children,” she added.

Rep. Greene’s representatives released a statement on Perry Greene’s behalf calling the congresswoman an “amazing mom” and his “best friend.”

“Our family is our most important thing we have done. As we go on different paths we will continue to focus on our 3 incredible kids and their future endeavors and our friendship," Perry Greene said.

The Greene marriage was rocked by reports last year of an affair allegedly between Rep. Greene and a polyamorous sex guru and, later a hookup with a local gym manager, as well as others — allegations of infidelity that the congresswoman declined to comment upon.

According to the Daily Mail, Rep. Greene herself reportedly sought a divorce in July 2012, citing the familiar “irretrievably broken” marriage as grounds for the split.

Greene's rise to right-wing prominence and election to congress came after years of spreading Q-Anon conspiracy theories and baseless allegations, one of which is the heinous allegation that the Parkland high school shooting was a “false flag” event.

The Trump-endorsed Republican also expressed support in 2018 and 2019 for the execution of Democrats, liking a comment that called for “a bullet in the head” to remove House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, CNN reported in January 2021.

Rep. Greene’s first term has been devoid of committee assignments, but the polarizing Republican has been in several feuds with her House colleagues and downplayed the gravity of the Capitol attack, referring to January 6, 2021, as “ one day with like a three-hour riot” in an unhinged speech at the Wake County GOP’s “Roaring ‘20s” gala last week.

Company Behind Trump's 'Truth Social' Now Operates From UPS Store Address

On top of his expanding legal troubles, former President Donald Trump’s finances have evidently taken a hammering, as a blank-check company looking to acquire his embattled social media platform changed its address to a mailbox at a UPS store.

Digital World Acquisition Corporation, a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, that announced a merger with Trump’s start-up, Trump Media & Technology Group — providing the former president’s Truth Social, a failing Twitter clone, with up to $1.3 billion in capital and a stock market listing — has fallen on hard times, threatening its financial capability to complete the takeover.

According to the Financial Times, the listed address of DWAC’s headquarters — formerly a WeWork office in Brickell City Centre, Miami, Florida — was changed in a mid-August Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) filing to 3109 Grand Avenue in Miami: a UPS store between an Italian restaurant and a nail salon.

The unit listed in the address, #450, corresponds to a mailbox number, the FT report, citing a search of the address and a verbal confirmation from a “person who answered the phone at the UPS Store on Monday.”

DWAC and a business with ties to its owner, Patrick Orlando, have agreed that the latter would provide the SPAC with office space and administrative support for $15,000, a seismic amount compared to the $50 per month UPS charges businesses to rent its mailboxes, the FT noted in its report.

Investor Exodus

The address change follows a DWAC regulatory filing with regulators that showed investors exiting in droves, pulling out $138.5 million of the $1 billion private equity pledged.

The contract obligating investors to pour their funds into Trump Media after the merger expired last Tuesday, allowing them to pull out of the deal, the filing said, according to CNBC. A former investor told CNBC that it had pulled out of the deal because of the company’s many legal woes.

According to the Washington Post, DWAC’s financial base had eroded so significantly that it was scheduled for liquidation earlier this month, as its investors seemed unlikely to permit a one-year extension of the deadline for the acquisition of Trump Media.

The Post revealed in its report that Orlando intervened in a last-ditch effort to save the deal, postponing a long-awaited corporate meeting, where a vote would be held, to October 10, as the company scrambled to amass shareholder support.

DWAC claimed in its filings that it could obtain enough funds to hold out for three more months to seal the deal without investor support. However, the company “could be forced to liquidate, returning all of its money to investors and leaving Trump’s operation with nothing” if it failed, per the Post.

Trouble With The Law

In late August, after the FBI raid of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home, DWAC warned in a filing that it would suffer if the former president “becomes less popular or there are further controversies that damage his credibility.”

The company itself is under intense scrutiny by the SEC and a New York grand jury for its alleged shady dealings and merger with Truth Social. In a June regulatory filing, DWAC revealed that its directors had received subpoenas, leading to a spate of resignations.

The company had urged the SEC to “wrap up its probe” in a reprint on an item from a pro-Trump blog post, as its folding would send Trump’s company, which is running off of loans spiraling into limbo.

Trump tried to downplay the issue earlier this month, writing on Truth Social, “Truth is doing well… I don’t need financing, ‘I’m really rich!’.”

Neither Orlando nor representatives for DWAC responded to multiple outlets’ requests for comments.

Raskin Hints Fresh Revelations About Roger Stone In January 6 Hearing (VIDEO)

A member of the House Select Committee, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), suggested Friday that the congressional panel might have some shockers about convicted MAGA felon Roger Stone under wraps for the American public as the committee enters the last months of its investigation, according to CBS News.

The suggestion followed a Politico report Friday that select committee aides traveled to Copenhagen, Denmark, in August to watch portions of over 170 hours of documentary footage recorded by a Danish documentary crew that covered Stone for two years, including on January 6, 2021, when a mob of Trump supporters breached the halls of congress to overturn to Joe Biden’s victory.

According to the Washington Post — the first to report on the substance of the footage — the crew, known as “The Ark,” tracked Stone as he covertly aided former President Trump’s efforts to overturn his 2020 election loss, capturing footage for their forthcoming film A Storm Foretold.

Although the select committee aides’ findings from the footage remain a mystery, Raskin — who once described Stone as someone “interfacing with the underworld of domestic violence extremists” — told CBS News journalist Robert Costa in an interview on Friday that “there might be some clues that surface from the new information we got there.”

Although Raskin refused to divulge details of the select committee’s upcoming public hearing on Wednesday, he let slip to Costa that Stone “saw where things were going,” CBS News noted in its report.

Stone dismissed the select committee’s aides’ trip as a wild goose chase in a statement to Politico before the paper aired its report. “While the committee investigators may find the documentary film footage entertaining, they will find no evidence of wrongdoing,” he wrote.

“I did exercise my First Amendment right at a legally permitted rally on January 5 to question the many anomalies and irregularities in the 2020 election,” he added.

After Politico’s report went live, Stone lashed out at the publication on Trump’s failing social media platform, Truth Social, writing, “A fresh load of BS to be delivered Wednesday," Stone predicted. "Any claim or assertion that I knew in advance about, participated in or condoned any illegal act on January 6 is categorically false. The campaign of 'guilt by association' is obviously going to continue."

Stone went on to attack Raskin and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), a popular target for Republican slander over his prominent role in the 45th president’s first impeachment. “Will this fake pasted up BS never end? Raskin is a congenital liar and con-man like [Adam] Schiff," he wrote.

According to the Post, the Ark crew captured unsettling moments in its time shadowing Stone, including when the ruthless Republican operative nicknamed his staffer, a person of color, “Mongoloid” and once made reference to “the Negroes.”

In February 2021, ABC News released footage showing Stone in the company of members of Oath Keepers, a far-right militia group — some of whom have pled guilty to seditious conspiracy — on the morning of January 6, 2021.

After pleading the Fifth Amendment multiple times in a deposition by select committee investigators last year, Stone said that the notion that “because I know members of the Proud Boys and came in contact with members of the Oath Keepers, means I must have had some advance knowledge of the illegal activities of some of their members on January 6th” was false.

According to Politico, the Ark crew took photos of Stone using his phone, “which showed contacts via an encrypted app with Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio and Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes.”

Stone, a longtime Trump adviser, was sentenced to more than three years on several felony counts, including lying to Congress, but he was pardoned by Trump two weeks before January 6.

Writer To Sue Trump For Rape Under New York's New Sexual Assault Law

E. Jean Carroll, a New York-based writer who accused former President Trump of sexually assaulting her in the 1990s, has announced plans to sue the former president under a newly-signed New York statute that allows sexual assault victims to file claims long after the expiration of the statute of limitations.

In a court filing Tuesday, Carrol’s attorney, Roberta A. Kaplan, informed New York federal judge Lewis A. Kaplan (no relation) that Carroll intends to sue Trump for battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress under New York’s Adult Survivors Act, mirroring the 2019 Child Victims Act that increased the statute of limitations in cases of child abuse.

New York governor Kathy Hochul (D) signed the Adult Survivors Act into law in late May, giving adult sexual assault victims a look-back window of up to one year to file civil lawsuits irrespective of how long ago it happened.

Carroll’s lawsuit against Trump stems from her claim that the former president sexually assaulted her in a dressing room of a department store in Manhattan, Bergdorf Goodman, in late 1995 or early 1996, a recollection she detailed in her 2019 book, What Do We Need Men For?.

Carroll alleged that Trump had “knocked her head against a wall, pulled down her tights, and briefly penetrated her before she swiftly pushed him off and ran out of the store,” according to the Washington Post.

Kaplan said that the former Elle magazine columnist planned to file the lawsuit in November, when the Adult Survivors Act goes into effect, and asked the judge to have the case tried with her 2019 defamation lawsuit against Trump in February 2023.

Trump attorney Alina Habba said Trump “adamantly” opposed Carroll’s request, and granting it would be “extraordinarily prejudicial” to the former and would violate his rights.

“To permit plaintiff to drastically alter the scope and subject matter of this case at such time would severely prejudice defendant’s rights,” Habba wrote. “Plaintiff’s request must be disregarded in its entirety.”

Trump had attempted to countersue Carroll, claiming that her 2019 defamation lawsuit against him was baseless. However, Judge Kaplan rejected the bid because it would “make a regrettable situation worse by opening new avenues for significant further delay.”

Carroll said in a 2019 CNN interview that she had put up a fight during the horrifying incident. “I want women know that I did not stand there; I did not freeze. I was not paralyzed, which is a reaction I could have had because it’s so shocking. No, I fought,” Carroll said.

Trump vehemently denied the accusation when Carroll went public with it in 2019 — as he had similar allegations of sexual assault from other women — and accused her of “totally lying” to sell her book.

“I don’t know anything about her,” Trump said in an interview with The Hill. “I know nothing about this woman. I know nothing about her. She is — it’s just a terrible thing that people can make statements like that.”

However, Carroll, in the excerpt of her book, had provided a photo that appeared to show Trump from behind, standing with his now-late wife, Ivana, and John Johnson, Carroll’s then-husband, at what the writer said was an NBC party around 1987.

Carroll’s lawyer Kaplan said she wants Trump to testify under oath to “better understand his theory of the case” and has asked that he submit a DNA sample to compare against a dress Carroll said she had worn during the incident.

The filing is the latest in an ongoing lawsuit that is just one of the litany of court battles Trump is embroiled in — the latest of which involves the former president’s business practices and refusal to turn over classified government documents after his tenure at the White House.

Video Shows Trump Allies Opened Voting Machines In Georgia County

Newly released surveillance footage shows that forensic experts working at the behest of attorneys tied to Trump spent hours at a rural elections office in Georgia, copying sensitive data from voting equipment, on January 7, 2021, a day after a mob of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol.

The footage, according to reports from CNN and the Washington Post, undercut the sworn deposition testimony of a Georgia Republican official, Cathay Latham, about her alleged role in the shocking breach of voting equipment in Coffee County two months after the 2020 general election.

In the video, Latham, then-chairperson of the county’s Republican party, welcomed a team of computer experts — including members of a data forensics firm, SullivanStrickler — hired by conspiracy-peddling Trump lawyer Sidney Powell upon their arrival, introduced them to local election officials, and spent hours there.

Lathem told the experts what to copy, which, it turned out, was “virtually every component of the voting system,” alleged a late Monday filing in response to Latham’s attorney’s attempt to kill subpoenas for her electronic devices, “including any cellphones, computers and storage devices,” according to the Associated Press.

“I didn’t go into the office,” Latham said, per the transcript of her testimony last month as reported by the Post. She had also claimed to have chatted with a businessman alleged to have accompanied the experts — for “five minutes at most,” on a topic she no longer recalled — before leaving with her husband.

However, the video showed Latham greeting the businessman, Scott Hall, after which she led him to a back area to meet with the computer experts and local elections officials. Furthermore, for large portions of the day, Latham was seen in the video moving in and out of the area where the experts were working, which wasn’t visible in the surveillance footage.

Hall, an Atlanta–area bail bondsman and Trump supporter, said in a recorded phone conversation that he had “chartered the jet to go down to Coffee County” and that “we scanned every freaking ballot,” the New York Times reported Tuesday.

“The same people that went up to Michigan, OK, and did all that forensic stuff on the computers. And they sent their team down to Coffee County, Georgia, and they scanned all the equipment, imaged all the hard drives, and scanned every single ballot,” Hall added in the recording.

According to the Post, Latham took a selfie with one of the computer forensics experts before her departure.

“The video reveals that Cathy Latham had a more significant role with the SullivanStrickler team’s work in Coffee County than she claimed,” said David Cross, an attorney for election integrity groups suing Georgia over the security vulnerabilities in its voting systems. “We can see her escort the team into the office that morning, for example.”

The plaintiffs in the suit assailed “the persistent refusal of Latham and her counsel to be straight with this court about the facts” when “she literally directed them on what to collect in the office.”

Latham was one of 16 fake electors in Georgia who signed a certificate falsely proclaiming former President Trump the electoral victor in a state he lost to then-Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, for which she is being investigated.

“She’s an important connection to the effort to create a slate of Georgia electors who would have wrongly voted for Trump for the 2020 election, which now looks to be the subject of a grand jury investigation in Fulton County,” Cross added.

Latham’s attorneys, Robert D. Cheeley and Holly A. Pierson, responding to questions from the Post, defended their client’s deposition testimony, saying, “Failing to accurately remember the details of events from almost two years ago is not lying.”

In court, Latham’s attorneys called the breach “less of a criminal undertaking and more of a permissible exercise of the County Elections Board’s authority.”

“The parties involved plainly believed that they had the authority to authorize it and the authority to do it, and that belief seems to be at least reasonable and likely accurate, which negates any possible criminal intent,” Latham’s attorneys wrote.

The voting equipment breach is under investigation by the secretary of state’s office and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, according to Mike Hassinger, a spokesperson for Brad Raffensperger, Georgia’s secretary of state.

“If it’s determined that people have committed a crime, they’re going to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” Hassinger said.

In a statement Tuesday morning, SullivanStrickler said it received a subpoena from a Fulton county special grand jury aiding district attorney Fani T. Willis’ investigation into possible election interference by Trump and his allies in Georgia.

“We can confirm that SullivanStrickler is not a target of the Fulton County special grand jury’s investigation,” the statement said. “Our firm and our employees are only witnesses in this matter. We will continue to fully cooperate with law enforcement.”

Former Trump Aide Testified That Gaetz Sought Sex Crime Pardon

A former White House aide told the House Select Committee probing the January 6, 2021, insurrection that Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), one of former President Trump’s most vocal allies, sought something in return for his subservience: a pre-emptive presidential pardon.

The testimony, first reported by the Washington Post on Saturday, corroborates earlier reports that the Republican congressman had sought a pardon for himself and provides new insight into the nature of that requested favor.

According to the Post, citing sources privy to his testimony, Johnny McEntee, the former director of the White House Presidential Personnel Office, told committee investigators that Gaetz had talked to him about a pardon in a brief meeting one evening.

McEntee testified that Gaetz had said that “they are launching an investigation into him or that there’s an investigation into him” without specifically referring to the Department of Justice. The Post also noted that investigators had asked McEntee if he believed the context of Gaetz’s pardon request pertained to the DOJ investigation into him over sex trafficking allegations, to which the aide replied, “I think that was the context, yes.”

The former Trump aide also testified that Gaetz had protested his innocence and whined that “they are trying to make his life hell, and, you know, if the president could give him a pardon, that would be great.”

McEntee added that Gaetz had told him he would ask Mark Meadows, Trump’s last chief of staff, for a pardon -- a development the select committee had revealed at a June hearing. At the time, though, it was uncertain exactly why Gaetz had asked for the pardon.

McEntee said he no longer remembers whether the brief conversation with Gaetz happened before or after the Capitol riot, the Post noted in its report, quoting sources aware of the testimony.

McEntee’s sworn testimony mirrors that of former White House lawyer Eric Herschmann, who told the committee in a deposition that he believed Gaetz had sought a presidential pardon from Trump.

“The general tone was we may get prosecuted because we were defensive of the president’s positions on these things. The pardon that he was discussing, requesting was as broad as you could describe. From beginning — I remember he said, from the beginning of time up until today for any and all things. He had mentioned Nixon, and I said Nixon’s pardon was never nearly that broad,” Herschmann testified, according to taped testimony that the select committee unveiled during its hearing.

Cassidy Hutchinson, a former Meadows aide, testified to the select committee in June that “Mr. Gaetz was personally pushing for a pardon, and he was doing so since early December, I’m not sure why. Mr. Gaetz had reached out to me to ask if he could have a meeting with Mr. Meadows about receiving a presidential pardon.”

The Justice Department kick-started its probe into whether Gaetz violated federal sex trafficking laws — specifically, whether he paid for sex and had sex with a 17-year-old and transported her across state lines — with former attorney general Bill Barr’s approval during the final months of the Trump Administration.

The probe, which Gaetz has repeatedly disputed -- and once tried to mock as “Gaetzgate" -- stemmed from a federal investigation into Joel Greenberg, one of the Floridian’s close confidants. In May 2022 Greenberg, formerly a Florida tax collector, admitted to a federal judge that he had solicited and paid a minor for sex and pleaded guilty to six sex trafficking charges. He is reportedly cooperating with the investigation of Gaetz.

Gaetz has repeatedly denied reports of his own misconduct. Last March, he wrote The Daily Beast, saying, “The last time I had a sexual relationship with a seventeen-year-old, I was seventeen.”

The following month, he penned an opinion piece in the Washington Examiner deriding the “swamp” for “repeating false allegations” about him and said that he had “never, ever paid for sex.”

“I, as an adult man, have not slept with a 17-year-old.,” Gaetz added.

A representative for Gaetz ignored the Post’s questions about McEntee’s testimony but told the publication that Gaetz never directly asked the former president for a pardon.

“Congressman Matt Gaetz discussed pardons for many other people publicly and privately at the end of President Donald Trump’s first term,” the spokesperson said, per the Post. “As for himself, President Trump addressed this malicious rumor more than a year ago stating, ‘Congressman Matt Gaetz has never asked me for a pardon.’ Rep Gaetz continues to stand by President Trump’s statement.”

Last May, Gaetz’s close confidant, Joel Greenberg, formerly a Florida tax collector, admitted to a federal judge that he had solicited and paid a minor for sex and pleaded guilty to six sex trafficking charges.

Fox Poll: Most Americans Say Trump Wrongly Took Government Documents

Fox News has spent weeks downplaying former President Trump’s pillaging of classified documents, accusing the Justice Department of “working in tandem” with media outlets to attack the ex-president, and parroting his social media drivel that’s endangered the lives of law enforcement.

Yet a new poll conducted by the right-wing network showed the great majority of Americans believe Trump was in the wrong and the FBI’s actions were justified in the classified documents case.

The Fox News survey found that 65 percent of Americans believe it was “inappropriate” for Trump to remove more than 11,000 government documents, some of which have classified markings, from the government's custody on his way out of the White House.

Only 26 percent of the respondents said they believe Trump was justified in taking out those documents, a 39-point margin off the two-thirds majority that thought Trump’s actions inappropriate.

Even among staunch Trump voters, Fox News reported, only an eight-point margin separated those who approved of Trump’s actions (48 percent) from those who disapproved (36 percent).

The survey also found that 56 percent of voters thought the FBI acted aptly in its execution of a court-approved search warrant of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home last August, as opposed to the 39 percent who believed its actions inappropriate.

7 in 10 voters surveyed said they still had confidence in the FBI, 30 percent of whom affirmed that their confidence in the bureau amounted to a “great deal,” while 41 percent said they had “some” confidence in the agency.

Fewer voters lacked confidence in the bureau now than in 2019, during the Trump administration, the poll also found: 13 percent of voters said they don’t have confidence in the agency, down from the 28 percent who said they didn’t in 2019.

The polling comes at a time when the former president and the Justice Department duel in court over the right and wrong of the politically-charged documents case, with Trump drawing rebuke from the department and the FBI for a social media campaign to paint the case a political witch hunt.

On Thursday, U.S. District Court Judge Aileen Cannon, a Trump appointee, rejected the Justice Department’s request to regain access to the classified documents seized from Trump’s clubs to resume its crucial inquiry into Trump’s mishandling of secret government documents.

Cannon dismissed the department’s complaints that the documents it sought to review are so sensitive and highly classified that any leaks could severely impair national security and instead appointed a special master chosen by Trump.

“The Court does not find it appropriate to accept the Government’s conclusions on these important and disputed issues without further review by a neutral third party in an expedited and orderly fashion,” Cannon wrote in her 10-page ruling.

The judge shrugged off criticism that her ruling heavily favored Trump and maintained her stance that an independent arbiter’s review was necessary “to ensure at least the appearance of fairness and integrity under unprecedented circumstances.”

Child Abuser, Neo-Nazi Among January 6 Defendants Who Keep Criming

It’s been over 20 months since the January 6 insurrection — an unprecedented breach by irate Trump supporters that caused $1.5 million in damages to the Capitol building and grounds — but the damage to American democracy is still being tallied.

The Department of Justice has charged over 900 people with crimes in connection with the Capitol riot, several dozen of whom are still locked up and awaiting trial. Thirty of these rioters are currently sitting in a Washington, D.C., jail., CBS News reported Friday.

As the FBI sifts through video footage, social media posts, and public tips in search of those who have escaped justice thus far, a rising number of indicted rioters have been re-arrested for gun, drug, or domestic abuse-related crimes, a CBS News review of Justice Department court filings showed.

Neo-Nazi Navy Reservist

One such instance is the case of Hatchet Speed, a Navy reservist from McLean, Virginia, who allegedly stormed the Capitol with the Proud Boys, an alt-right paramilitary group; bought dozens of firearms after January 6; and talked of how to “wipe out” Jews.

Prosecutors described Speed, who was arrested on June 22 and charged for his involvement in the Capitol breach, as a “heavily armed Nazi sympathizer” with “Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information (TS/SCI) clearance,” according to the Washington Post.

Prosecutors charged that Speed blamed “Antifa” for breaking the Capitol building’s windows; accused then-Vice President Mike Pence of betrayal in rhetoric that mirrored former President Trump’s incendiary tweets against his number two at the time; and made threats against Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Months after, prosecutors brought more charges against him: that he “espoused the use of violence to further his anti-government and anti-Semitic ideologies” in statements to an undercover FBI agent — and that he purchased $50,000 worth of firearms in a fit of “panic” buying, amassing a weapons stash that included rifles, shotguns, pistols, revolvers, and even silencers.

Speed, prosecutors also alleged in charging documents, sympathized “with domestic terrorists Eric Rudolph and Ted Kaczynski,” backed “jihadist” efforts to “wipe out” Jews, and called Adolf Hitler “one of the best people that's ever been on this earth.”

Speed’s arraignment is set for September 22, and the federal public defender assigned to him has declined all requests for comment.

'Sexual Battery Of A Minor'

Authorities also arrested another rioter from Norfolk, Virginia, who illegally entered the U.S. Capitol with a “Captain America-style shield,” on domestic violence charges months after his arrest for January 6, CBS News noted in its report.

The rioter, Kene Brian Lazo, was sentenced to 45 days in jail after pleading guilty for his role in the Capitol siege. He admitted to illegally entering the Capitol and remaining for 30 minutes in Rotunda and senate chamber.

Prosecutors said that Lazo, donning a helmet, goggles, an American flag cape, and other tactical gear, stormed the Capitol building chanting “our house!”

“[I]f shit his the fan [I] will get some dead guys [sic] gear and guns if it comes down to it,” Lazo posted on Facebook, according to prosecutors.

In his hearing before U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper, Lazo sniffled and cried so loudly that the judge asked if he needed some to recompose himself, to which Lazo replied, “I’m okay, Your Honor, I’m okay,” according to LawandCrime.

Months later, Lazo was re-arrested on more serious charges: “rape, aggravated sexual battery of a minor under 13 years of age, assault and battery of a family member, and other charges,” LawandCrime noted in its report.

Four Vials Of Testosterone

CBS News also reported on the arrest of Elias Nick Costianes of Nottingham, Maryland, a Capitol rioter who federal agents alleged committed other offenses after executing a “Capitol riot warrant” at his home last February.

Federal agents found four guns in Costiane's home: “a 9mm pistol; a M&P 15 semi-automatic rifle; a .223 caliber semi-automatic rifle; and a 12-gauge shotgun, as well as 9mm, .22 caliber, .223 caliber, and shotgun ammunition,” per a U.S. government press release. Two of the guns weren’t registered to the defendant.

Agents also found a hypodermic needle and four vials of Testosterone Enanthate, a controlled substance in the United States, in his Costianes home, per CBS.

Costiane will appear in court again in October for his Capitol riot case, where he stands accused of breaching the senate chamber’s second level.

Peter Navarro Excoriates Top Trump Aides In Grievance-Laden Memoir

Peter Navarro — former President Trump’s indicted ex-trade adviser — lambasts Trump’s chiefs of staff, from his “Cabinet of Clowns” to his “Motley Crue of Chiefs,” in his upcoming MAGA-themed book, titled Taking Back Trump’s America, as The Daily Beast reported Tuesday.

Taking a cue from Trump himself, Navarro’s laid into his former White House colleagues, including all four of Trump’s former chiefs of staff, while remaining loyal to his ex-boss.

In an excerpt of the forthcoming insult-ridden book, obtained by the Beast, Navarro said three of Trump’s choices for chief of staff — Mark Meadows, Mick Mulvaney, and John Kelly — were competing for the title of “worst chief of staff in history.”

“You should normally expect a murderer’s row of highly polished media killers in the cabinet secretary pool,” Navarro wrote. “Regrettably, this was just not so in Trump Land.”

Navarro’s penchant for name-calling and right-wing conspiracy-peddling has held firm since his time in the White House, given that he is buddies with disgraced and thrice-indicted War Room podcast host Steve Bannon, who served as Trump's "chief strategist."

Like Bannon, Navarro couldn’t resist defying a subpoena demanding his cooperation in the House Select Committee’s January 6 investigation, which earned him a contempt of Congress criminal charge in March. Navarro was also sued by the government last month for refusing to hand over private emails he used to conduct public business during his time at the White House.

Navarro, the Justice Department said in its filing, “has refused to return any Presidential records that he retained absent a grant of immunity for the act of returning such documents,” according to the Washington Post.

Despite mounting troubles with law enforcement, Navarro has found time to settle scores with his ex-colleagues with a litany of excoriating descriptions, which he had often done on Bannon’s podcast, while seeking to turn a profit.

In his book, Navarro called former treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin a “media hound,” who “spoke like a robot”—“often with an uncomfortable nervous tic around the corners of his mouth”— and “got the most airtime,” per the Beast. Mnuchin, said Navarro, was an “uncomfortable cross between cringe-worthy and a Wall Street hack.”

Navarro described Alex Azar, the former Health and Human Services Secretary, as “always punctilious” and slammed three former cabinet members — Steve Hahn, FDA Commissioner; Robert Redfield, Centers for Disease Control director; and Francis Collins, who headed the National Institutes of Health.

He wrote that Hahn, Redfield, and Collins would, if given a chance, “throw POTUS under the bus even faster than Azar—as would other key officials like the insufferably pompous [former assistant secretary of health] Brett Giroir and of course, the king of stepping on White House messaging, Saint Fauci,” referring to Dr. Anthony Fauci, then director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Bad as they all were, Navarro thought one White House figure deserved the “worst chief of staff” title. It was Meadows, he wrote, who had achieved that “distinction.'.

Yet Navarro wasn’t done. He tagged Trump’s first chief of staff, Reince Priebus, “the wrong, small, and inexperienced man for a very big job”; second chief of staff John Kelly, “a trucker” recruited “to drive a Formula One car”; and Mick Mulvaney, the ex-president’s third chief of staff, a “smug” man with “an overabundance of both arrogance and hubris," whom Trump constantly trolled “so he never got comfortable in the job.”

“The more Mick begged,” Navarro jeered, “the more permanent his ‘acting chief’ status would become.”

At Issue, Navarro indicated, was Mulvaney’s failed attempt to dismiss questions about Trump’s reported pressure campaign on Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky in an October 2020 press conference. “Get over it,” Mulvaney told reporters. “There's going to be political influence in foreign policy.”

”That single press conference was the beginning of the end for Mulvaney even as it underscored yet again the inability of the White House to dominate the news cycle,” Navarro said.

A representative for Trump stayed mum when asked for comment on Navarro’s allegations, as did representatives of Mnuchin, Meadows, and Kelly. The Beast said it couldn't reach representatives of Azar and Priebus for comment. But Mulvaney fired back with a stinging reference to an “imaginary” friend that made an appearance in one of Navarro’s old books.

“Peter Navarro used an imaginary friend to justify many of his economic hypotheses,” Mulvaney told the Beast

Senators Demand Probe Of Fake 'Rothschild' Heiress Who Infiltrated Trump Club

Senators are calling for an investigation into a Russian-speaking Ukrainian scammer who, posing as a member of the Rothschild banking family, infiltrated Mar-a-Lago and met top Republicans, including former President Trump.

The startling case underscores the security challenges that plagued Trump’s resort — the de facto headquarters of the GOP — where the former president stashed confidential government records, including documents with markings higher than “top secret.”

Inna Yashchyshyn, the 33-year-old daughter of an Illinois truck driver,” conned her way into Trump’s private club on “multiple” occasions and convinced club members she was Anna Rothschild, an heiress of the famous European banking dynasty, the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, in conjunction with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, reported in August.

Yashchyshyn’s ruse, the Post-Gazette wrote, “demonstrates the ease with which someone with a fake identity and shadowy background” could breach security at Trump’s club, “one of America’s power centers and the epicenter of Republican Party politics.”

The chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), said Yashchyshyn’s breach was another example of “what appears to be porous or even nonexistent security at Mar-a-Lago,” per the Post Gazette.

“I have regular contact with senior leadership [of the intelligence agencies], and I intend to raise this issue,” Warner told the publication.

Yashchyshyn posed for photos with Trump and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on a golf course and later with Kimberly Guilfoyle, Donald Trump Jr.’s fiancee, as well as Trump campaign donor Richard Kofoed and other Trump associates after dinner at an Italian restaurant.

"Anna, you're a Rothschild. You can afford $1 million for a picture with you and Trump," a man told Yashchyshyna at Trump’s golf club in video footage obtained by the Post-Gazette.

"It wasn't just dropping the family name. She talked about vineyards and family estates and growing up in Monaco," John LeFevre, a former investment banker, told OCCRP. "Everyone was eating it up,” he added.

According to OCCRP and the Post-Gazette, Yashchyshyn, the former director of an embattled Miami charity, is under investigation by “both the FBI’s office in Miami and the Sûreté du Québec provincial police in Canada.”

Several records linked to Yashchyshyn were obtained by the FBI in its investigation, including “copies of two fake passports from U.S. and Canada — bearing her photo and the name Anna de Rothschild” and a Florida driver’s license with a fake address of a $13 million Miami Beach mansion she had never been to, the Post-Gazette reported.

Yashchyshyn, “a self-confessed grifter,” denied knowing Anna de Rothschild and blamed her one-time business partner, Valeriy Tarasenko, for the existence of any passports that bore the Rothschild name and her photo, saying, “I think there is some misunderstanding,” according to the OCCR.

Tarasenko filed a domestic injunction against Yashchyshyn in South Florida and accused the fake heiress of defrauding “rich older men” and abusing his daughter.

Yashchyshyn, Tarasenko said in an affidavit, used "her fake identity as Anna de Rothschild to gain access to and build relationships with U.S. politician[s], including but not limited to Donald Trump, Lindsey Graham, and Eric Greitens," according to the Post-Gazette.

Yashchyshyn’s charity, United Hearts of Mercy, founded in 2010 in Canada and 2015 in Miami, claimed on Facebook to help “release children from spiritual, social, economic, and physical poverty in Africa, the U.S., Canada, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic,” but where the funds it raised ended up is still not clear.

The charity’s records showed it raised at least $236,500 in a donation drive for families of covid-19 victims. However, Stripe, a payment processing platform, later kicked the charity off their platforms on suspicion of fraud after it found donations made to the charity from stolen credit cards from Hong Kong.

In a sworn statement made last December, the charity’s certified public accountant, Tatiana Verzilina, said that the charity, which allegedly raised $200,000 in 2020 alone, was a clearinghouse for illicit funds for organized crime.

Kofoed and Graham declined to discuss Yashchyshyn, as did representatives for the Trump Organization and Guilfoyle.

Senator Bob Casey weighed in on the Mar-a-Lago security breach. “One of the things our adversaries try to do every day of the week is infiltrate, either physically infiltrate or if someone was able to get into a building or into a setting where a public official is, or documents are, or a former public official,” he said. “It’s a real concern.”

Trump ally Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) told the Post Gazette that he hadn’t read any reports on Yashchyshyn.

Trump Demands Taxpayers Cover Costs Of Special Master Document Review

As the legal woes of former President Trump mount — the latest of which stem from his pillaging and stashing of classified government documents at his Florida home — his attorneys have demanded in court that another party cover half of their client’s legal fees: American taxpayers.

The former President, whom the Republican National Committee (RNC) reportedly informed last month that it would no longer cover his legal bills, has asked a judge he appointed to approve a scheme under which that the American people would foot his legal fees in the classified documents case.

Last week Trump-appointed U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon granted Trump’s request to have an independent arbiter, otherwise known as a special master, sift through the trove of documents seized by FBI agents from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort last month, roughly 300 of which the Justice Department has said are classified.

In a joint filing Friday night, the Justice Department and Trump attorneys submitted dueling visions for the special master review process, most notably the arbiter’s pay.

A clause in the filing outlining Trump’s request to go dutch read, “Plaintiff [Donald Trump] proposes to split evenly the professional fees and expenses of the Special Master and any professionals, support staff, and expert consultants engaged at the Master’s request.”

However, the Justice Department, whose “filter team” had already set aside the documents subject to attorney-client privilege, disagreed with the request to go halves on the special master’s fees.

“The Government’s position is that, as the party requesting the special master, Plaintiff should bear the additional expense of the Special Master’s work,” the filing said.

The parties also disagreed on the special master’s duties and limitations. The former president asked that the special master review the over 11,000 seized documents, including those the FBI said bore “classified,” “secret,” and “top secret” markings.

The Justice Department, on the other hand, had demanded Thursday in a three-page notice of appeal that Cannon restore its access to the classified documents seized, or it would appeal her ruling to a higher court, saying that her ruling “could impede efforts to identify the existence of any additional classified records that are not being properly stored.”

Even if Trump sought to use the executive privilege assertion to exclude the classified material from the seized tranche of documents, the Justice Department said, he could not claim “possessory interest” — a legal standard that denotes a party’s right of ownership over an item — for secret documents that belong to the United States.

The former president “does not and could not assert that he owns or has any possessory interest in classified records; that he has any right to have those government records returned to him; or that he can advance any plausible claims of attorney-client privilege as to such records that would bar the government from reviewing or using them,” the department wrote.

The legal duel will continue Monday when Trump’s attorneys are expected to oppose the Justice Department’s demand that the documents bearing classified markings be exempt from the special master’s purview.

Federal Grand Jury Summons Trump Aide To Testify On January 6 Planning

The focus of an overarching Justice Department investigation into the Capitol insurrection last year has shifted to members of Trump’s orbit, with a "senior adviser" to former President Trump the next in line to receive a subpoena.

That aide — 31-year-old William Russell, who served as a special assistant and deputy director of presidential advance operations for the Trump administration — was with the former president for a time on January 6, 2021. He left the White House with the previous administration and moved to Florida to continue working for Trump, one of a few former staffers to do so.

According to CBS News, FBI agents in Florida paid a visit the aide to Russell’s home on Wednesday morning for questioning but didn’t find anyone there. They contacted him afterward and served him a subpoena via email.

Representatives for the senior Trump adviser ignored requests to comment on the subpoena.

The subpoena — as the New York Times reported Wednesday, citing unnamed sources — pertains to the grand jury investigation into the events that preceded the January 6, 2021 storming and ransacking of the U.S. Capitol by a mob of Trump supporters.

Federal investigators have expanded their probe into the failed months-long campaign by Trump and his cronies to overturn Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 general elections.

Last week, Pat Cipollone, a former White House counsel, and Patrick Philbin, Cipollone's deputy, testified before the grand jury investigating Trump’s post-election efforts to cling to power. Cipollone and Philbin, multiple sources say, were in the room where key conversations around the former president’s election subversion efforts took place.

The grand jury has also heard testimony from two aides of former Vice President Mike Pence: Marc Short, Pence’s former chief of staff, and Greg Jacob, Pence’s former general counsel.

For weeks after his loss, Trump and his allies peddled egregious claims of election fraud in an all-out assault on the integrity of the election, giving rise to the assault on Congress meant to stymie the certification of a democratically elected candidate.

Preceding the insurrection, the Big Lie was, in the weeks before the certification of Biden’s electoral victory, accompanied by an audacious plan by Trump and his allies to install a slate of fake electors subservient to Trump in seven battleground states to overturn Trump’s loss.

The fake elector scheme, proposals to seize voting machines, and an attempt to strong-arm the Department of Justice into investigating voter fraud conspiracies were part of the broad Republican-led effort to overturn Trump’s loss, the Times noted in its report.

The Department of Justice is also entangled with Trump in a separate case involving the former president’s mishandling of classified government documents. On Monday, the judge in that case, a Trump appointee, granted the former president’s request to have a special master review the documents seized from Mar-a-Lago and shockingly halted the government’s review of the classified documents and assessment of national security risks.

The Justice Department notified Judge Aileen Cannon on Thursday of its intention to appeal her ruling.

Barr Trashes Cannon Ruling As His Feud With Trump Erupts Again

Former Attorney General William Barr called a Trump-appointed judge’s ruling in favor of the former president in the politically-charged classified documents case “wrong” and “deeply flawed” and urged the government to appeal it.

Appearing on Fox News, Barr derided Florida federal judge Aileen M. Cannon’s sweeping decision to grant former President Trump’s request to appoint an independent arbiter, called a special master, to review the more than 11,000 documents seized by the FBI from Mar-a-Lago.

"The opinion, I think, was wrong, and I think the government should appeal it," Barr told Fox News host Martha MacCallum.

He also argued that the ruling, cheered by avid Trump supporters as a significant victory, might delay but won’t shield the former president from persecution.

“It’s deeply flawed in a number of ways. I don’t think the appointment of a special master is going to hold up, but even if it does, I don’t see it fundamentally changing the trajectory” of the case, Barr said.

“The fundamental dynamics of the case are set,” he added. “The government has very strong evidence of what it really needs to determine whether charges are appropriate, which is: government documents were taken; classified information was taken and not handled appropriately; and they are looking into, and there’s some evidence to suggest, that they were deceived. None of that really relates to the content of documents.”

Barr, who Trump once called "one of the most respected jurists in the country," slammed Cannon for “dodg[ing]” the question at issue: whether Trump’s executive privilege claim can overcome President Biden’s decision to waive such a privilege.

Responding to Barr’s earlier comments calling the special master request a “crock of shit,” Trump called Barr a “weak and pathetic RINO,” a derogatory term that means “Republican in name only.”

"Bill Barr had 'no guts,' and got 'no glory.' He was a weak and pathetic RINO, who was so afraid of being Impeached that he became a captive to the Radical Left Democrats," Trump wrote on his embattled social media platform, Truth Social, last Friday.

"Barr never fought the way he should have for Election Integrity, and so much else. He started off OK as A.G., but faded fast - Didn't have courage or stamina. People like that will never Make America Great Again!" Trump added.

Barr dismissed the former president’s name-calling as “silly” on Monday. “A RINO for him is anyone who disagrees with him that the election was stolen … As someone who handed out Barry Goldwater literature when I was 14 years old on the Upper West Side, it’s a little silly,” Barr said.

At issue is the Monday ruling by Cannon, who Trump appointed to the federal bench in 2020, acceding to Trump’s legal team’s demand for a special master to review the seized documents — a decision she claimed kept up “the appearance of fairness and integrity under the extraordinary circumstances presented.”

The special master’s role, Cannon said, would be to “review the seized property” — some of which the FBI said were marked “classified,” “secret,” and “top secret” — “manage assertions of privilege and make recommendations thereon, and evaluate claims for return of property.”

Extraordinarily, Cannon, who had ordered the unsealing of an inventory list of seized items from Mar-a-Lago, ordered the Justice Department to halt its review of the records "pending completion of the special master's review or further Court order."

Legal experts have excoriated Cannon’s ruling for myriad reasons, including her decision to halt the Justice Department’s investigation while allowing the National Archives’ probe to continue and authorizing the special master to sift for documents protected not just by attorney-client privilege but also by “executive privilege.”

Executive privilege is a legal doctrine that authorizes U.S. presidents and their staff to refuse disclosures that impair national security or the executive branch. Critics have also called out the extremely bizarre decision of Trump, the former president, to claim executive privilege against the current executive arm in a bid to escape legal reckoning.

Cannon gave the Justice Department and Trump’s legal team until Friday to draw a list of potential special masters. Any appeal filed by the department will be heard by the court of appeals, which Trump-appointed judges heavily dominate.

Top Republican Says 'A Different Set Of Rules' Applies To Trump's Purloined Papers

The ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Michael McCaul (TX), has said he wouldn’t take classified documents to his house, but former President Trump, who is squaring off with the Justice Department in court for doing just that, lived by “a different set of rules.”

Speaking to ABC’s This Week, McCaul told co-anchor Martha Raddatz that he wouldn’t take secret government documents home, but the congressman, nevertheless, spun for Trump like many of his GOP counterparts in Congress.

When Raddatz asked McCaul if he saw any reason for Trump to take highly classified documents to Mar-a-Lago, the Texan replied, "You know, I have lived in the classified world most of my professional career; I personally wouldn't do that. But I'm not the president of the United States. But he has a different set of rules that apply to him."

McCaul, who once accused former President Obama of imperiling American security, moved to downplay the gravity of Trump’s apparent disregard for national security, government secrets, and the statutes governing them, parroting a line from the GOP Rolodex of excuses for Trump: “The president can declassify a document on a moment’s notice.”

When pressed on the absurd notion that Trump, as president of the United States, had the power to declassify secret government papers merely by thinking it, McCaul replied, “There is a process for declassification. But again, the president’s in a very different position than most of us in the national security space.”

"I know they were taken out of the White House while he was president and whether or not he declassified those documents remains to be seen," McCaul added. "He says he did. I don't have all the facts there."

A former counsel for the House impeachment managers, Norman Eisen, told the Washington Post that McCaul’s suggestion was “absurd.”

“Congressman McCaul knows better,” Eisen told the Post’s Jennifer Rubin. “There is absolutely no factual basis to believe Trump’s or his cronies’ suggestion that all these documents went through the declassification process.”

“Is the congressman really prepared to entertain absurd notions like Trump having a standing automatic declassification order whenever he took a document upstairs to the residence? Come on,” Eisen added.

Whether or not Trump believed he declassified the White House documents in his position was no reason to hold onto them when he was asked, by a grand jury subpoena, to hand them over, the Justice Department wrote in an August 29 court filing.

“The government notes that the subpoena sought documents ‘bearing classification markings,’ and therefore a complete response would not turn on whether or not responsive documents had been purportedly declassified,” an attorney in the DOJ’s National Security Division wrote in the filing.

Former attorney general William Barr, who famously announced a month after the 2020 election that the feds had “not seen fraud on a scale that could have affected” the election’s outcome, said there was “no justification” for Trump to keep classified documents seized from his estate, per USA Today.

"I think it's a serious matter," Barr told the paper.

Trump-Backed Arizona Republican Boasted About Committing Vote Fraud

The Trump-backed GOP candidate for Arizona attorney general has in the past disseminated anti-Semitic tropes, called for cutting U.S. funding to Isreal, and seemingly admitted to voter fraud, the Phoenix New Times reported Tuesday.

Abraham Hamadeh, a 31-year-old first-timer in the political sphere, emerged victorious in Arizona’s crowded GOP primary after his advocacy for the Big Lie — that widespread voter fraud derailed former President Trump’s “victory” in the 2020 election — won him Trump’s “complete and total” endorsement.

Hamadeh embraced many of Trump’s baseless allegations about the 2020 election and said, were it up to him, he would not have certified Arizona's 2020 general election results. Hamadeh vowed during his campaign that he would use the attorney general's office to “prosecute crimes of the rigged 2020 election.”

“Abe Hamadeh knows what happened in the 2020 election, and will enforce voting laws so that our elections are free and fair again,” Trump said in his endorsement.

According to the Phoenix New Times, in a slate of posts starting in October 2008, Hamadeh, then a 17-year-old aspiring WWE wrestler, allegedly admitted that he illegally voted and altered his mother’s vote on her absentee ballot for then-Senator Barack Obama for President.

“Obama is getting all of this crap simply cause hes black, he has an Arab name, hes the only senator who is black in the Senate, he is successful, and he is a Harvard Law graduate, they're scared they might have a smart man in the white house,” Hamadeh wrote.

In a follow-up post, he admitted, “No, I cannot vote. I just submitted my mother’s absentee ballot, she votes who I vote for, she voted for Ron Paul, and I’m saddened that I had to vote for Barack Obama, but it was the right thing I had to do.”

“Under Arizona law, it's a felony for a person to knowingly mark a ballot "with the intent to fix an election for that person's own benefit or for that of another person" or to possess anyone’s early ballot other than your own. It's also illegal for anyone younger than 18 to cast a ballot,” the New Times noted in its report

Hamadeh also proposed radical, eugenics-like ideas for election reform: that only educated Americans who passed an intelligence test be allowed to vote, “not people who just go to a DMV and sign up to vote,” per the New Times.

“Based on Barack Obama's intelligence I casted my vote for him yesterday through absentee,” Hamadeh wrote, seemingly admitting to underage voting.

Besides calling John McCain a “radical fascist,” Hamadeh peddled anti-Semitic talking points in 2007 and advocated for the United States to stop funding Israel a year later.

"If you think Jews arent big in america (2%) how come 56% of them are CEO'S ... Jews are influential and for the most part rich," Hamadeh wrote in a post. "its good we're targetting Arabs now, next will target Jews."

Hamadeh’s campaign did not deny the substance of the New Times’ allegations but said that Hamadeh made the comments at issue in his youth, “well before their minds were even fully developed,” so it should not be an issue in 2022.

“Abe Hamadeh is the youngest statewide candidate in the country, and one of the first to be scrutinized on his digital footprint dating back to a time when he was 16 years old, the same time he thought he would grow up to become a wrestler in the WWE," said Erica Knight, a spokesperson for Hamadeh’s campaign told the New Times.

“We are entering a new era of political opposition where candidates who have lived through their adolescent years on the internet are being judged and criticized based on comments they made well before their minds were even fully developed. It is now our responsibility to be careful where we draw the line," Knight added.

When HuffPost asked the Hamadeh campaign to clarify whether its candidate actually altered his mother’s vote, the campaign deflected by referring the paper to the candidate’s Wednesday tweet.

Hamadeh’s challenger, Kris Mayes, the Democratic candidate for Arizona attorney general, slammed him for his hypocrisy, anti-Semitic views, and radical utterances.

“It’s shocking that the Republican candidate for attorney general in Arizona admitted to engaging in voter fraud, and it’s equally offensive that he made so many anti-Semitic and sexist remarks,” Mayes said on Wednesday in an interview with HuffPost. “It’s just inexcusable and disqualifying.”

Feds Scrutinize Videos Showing Access To Classified Documents At Mar-A-Lago

Federal Investigators are closely reviewing video evidence they acquired showing people at Mar-a-Lago with access to storage areas that contained classified documents former President Trump moved from the White House, CBS News reported Monday, citing conversations with a U.S. official.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) subpoenaed video footage from Mar-a-Lago over a 60-day period, “including views from outside the storage room,” according to the New York Times.

“According to a person briefed on the matter, the footage showed that, after one instance in which Justice Department officials were in contact with Mr. Trump’s team, boxes were moved in and out of the room,” Maggie Haberman and Glenn Thrush noted in their August 14 report for the Times.

The Times stated in its report that it is unclear whether the footage, which depicted the handling of boxes of potentially sensitive material, was captured during the lengthy back-and-forth between the DOJ and Trump’s advisers or after the department had subpoenaed additional documents from Trump.

The discovery that there was potential access to the classified documents seized from Mar-a-Lago — some of which were marked “TS/SCI,” a higher classification level than even top secret — remains a significant concern for federal investigators.

The development precedes new reporting by the Times that over 300 documents labeled classified have been recovered from Trump in two tranches — first by the National Archives and then by the DOJ in June — since he left office.

This newly disclosed volume of classified material found in the ex-president’s possession in January, the Times stated, “helps explain why the Justice Department moved so urgently to hunt down any further classified materials he might have.”

According to CBS News, Trump’s legal team indicated they were aware of the existence of the footage but advised reading into it.

“Just like every Democrat-fabricated witch hunt previously, the water of this unprecedented and unnecessary raid is being carried by a media willing to run with suggestive leaks, anonymous sources and no hard facts,” said Taylor Budowich, a representative for the former president.

Budowich also stated that it should come as “no surprise that boxes may be moved in and out of a storage room.”

“That’s not news,” he said of reports on the footage’s content. “If there was actual concern, the DOJ could have asked, just like they had previously, and they would have, again, received full cooperation.”

Concerns about Trump’s cavalier handling of classified information came up in the early period of his presidency. Trump, then-president of the United States, rejected his intelligence reports because reading was not his “preferred style of learning”; struggled to focus during intelligence briefings; and didn’t even receive an intelligence briefing after the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol by a mob of his supporters.

The former president has repeatedly claimed that he declassified the documents seized from Mar-a-Lago by the FBI and denied all allegations of wrongdoing.