Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has been recently subjected to a coordinated effort by media activists and Democrats to smear him with allegations of blatant and repeated violations of judicial ethics guidelines and standards in failing to properly disclose "gifts" received from a wealthy friend.

Thomas has denied any wrongdoing, and now one of his personal friends has provided documentary evidence that the justice had already been cleared of virtually the same allegations more than a decade ago, the Conservative Brief reported.

That friend is Washington D.C. attorney Mark Paoletta, who previously served in the Trump and Bush administrations, and who posted a thread of tweets in which he shared copies of public letters from the Judicial Conference that proved that the same allegations had been reviewed and dismissed more than 10 years ago.

The coordinated smear of Justice Thomas

In early April, left-leaning ProPublica published a lengthy article that purported to expose numerous incidents over the years in which Justice Thomas had accepted rides on the private jet and yacht of a personal friend, Texas real estate billionaire Harlan Crow, and had been a complimentary guest at several different properties owned by Crow -- none of which was reported in financial disclosure forms.

What followed was a series of similar articles and claims of ethics violations from other media outlets, partisan activists, and elected Democrats, who all leveled accusations of unethical behavior against Thomas and demanded his resignation or threatened potential impeachment and removal from the court.

Except, according to Fox News, none of the supposed ethics violations or disclosure failures are true, and Paoletta had the documented evidence to prove that no wrongdoing had occurred.

Judicial Conference already dealt with this issue and dismissed it

In a multi-tweet thread last week, Paoletta wrote, "Justice Thomas complied with ethics law when he didn’t disclose trips under personal hospitality exception. In 2011/12, Judicial Conference specifically reviewed complaints Thomas hadn’t properly disclosed trips and concluded Thomas acted properly in not disclosing."

"After complaints filed in Jan 2011 on Thomas not disclosing wife’s salary, which was inadvertent, there were complaints submitted based on June 2011 NYT story on Thomas traveling on Harlan Crow plane & boat & staying at Crow's summer home, Topridge," he continued. "In September 29, 2011 letter signed by Rep. Slaughter and 20 Members to Judicial Conference, Members cited @nytimes story that Justice Thomas had violated law by not disclosing his trips on Crow’s plane and boat on his forms."

"Judicial Conference wrote back to Congress on October 14, 2011, and said this letter was referred to Judicial Conference Committee on Financial Disclosure for review," the attorney wrote. "On 4/30/12, Jud Conf replied to congress that they reviewed allegations in 9/29 letter & 'concluded that nothing has been presented to support a determination that Justice Thomas ... willfully or improperly failed to disclose information concerning travel reimbursements.'"

"Thus, Judicial Conference specifically reviewed allegations in 2011/12 that Justice Thomas had violated law by not disclosing his trips on Crow’s plane and boat pursuant to personal hospitality exception and Judicial Conference AGREED Thomas was correct in not disclosing," Paoletta added.

The D.C. attorney wasn't done yet, though, as he kept going in his thread with even more recent documentary evidence from this month, as he tweeted, "This is set forth in Judicial Conference 5/15/2023 letter to [Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)], which summarized findings that 'nothing had been presented to support a determination that … Justice Thomas willfully or improperly failed to disclose information concerning travel reimbursements.'"

Paoletta noted in two separate tweets in the thread that "Under Ethics in Government Act, the Judicial Conference is designated as the body to issue interpretive guidance, review reports, and determine compliance for the judiciary," as well as that the "Judicial Conference is the authoritative body for Judiciary under the law and the Judicial Conference ruling in 2012 concludes Justice Thomas acted properly in not disclosing trips."

Journalists obviously failed to do basic due diligence on claims

The attorney also specifically called out the editor and reporters for the ProPublica story and wrote, "2011 letters to Judicial Conference alleging Thomas violated law by not disclosing trips were public. Did you check with Judicial Conference to ask if they ruled on allegations & concluded Thomas acted properly in not disclosing trips?"

"You cite left wing 'ethics experts,' whose views are just partisan opinions, but I don’t see anything in your original article that you checked with Judicial Conference," Paoletta damningly concluded.

There are some Democrats who cannot fathom the idea of former President Donald Trump being re-elected to a second term in office in 2024 and are seeking any possible tool that can be used to block him from even running again for the presidency, much less actually being elected again.

One such tool often cited in regard to Trump is a relatively obscure post-Civil War constitutional amendment that disqualifies from office any individual who "engaged in insurrection or rebellion" against the federal government, and Democrats have shown a renewed interest in that effort, the Conservative Brief reported.

The 14th Amendment's Disqualification Clause

First enacted in 1868 and aimed squarely at former officials of the Confederacy, Section 3 of the 14th Amendment states, in part, "No person shall ... hold any office, civil or military, under the United States ... who, having previously taken an oath ... as an officer of the United States ... to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof."

Known as the Disqualification Clause, the New York Post reported on Jan. 6, 2022 -- exactly one year after the Capitol riot -- that around a dozen Democratic lawmakers in Congress were exploring whether that provision could be applied to former President Trump in relation to his purported incitement of the Jan. 6 "insurrection" at the Capitol in 2021.

Meanwhile, left-wing political activist groups were simply looking for ways to apply the 14th Amendment clause to Trump and any of his supporters who participated in the protest over the disputed 2020 election results that devolved into a violent and destructive riot, namely by convincing election officials and legislatures in the states to take action to bar Trump or others from appearing as a candidate on a ballot.

Democrat-led states seek to bar Trump from appearing on ballots

Fast-forward another year to January 2023, and the Associated Press reported that a number of Democratic-led state legislatures -- including Connecticut, New York, and Virginia -- were considering legislation in that regard.

The Connecticut bill would prohibit anyone "convicted of sedition, rebellion, insurrection or a felony related to one of those acts" from running for or holding any public office in the state, while New York's bill would bar anyone "convicted of engaging in an insurrection or rebellion against the United States" from holding any civil office, and Virginia's bill would similarly "prohibit anyone convicted of a felony related to an attempted insurrection or riot from serving in positions of public trust."

The Democratic lawmakers who support such measures have pointed to the conclusions of the highly partisan congressional committee that investigated the Jan. 6 Capitol riot -- that Trump incited an insurrection -- as supporting evidence in their efforts to block the former president from ever being re-elected as president.

They have also pointed to federal charges of "seditious conspiracy" against some participants in the riot as well as a New Mexico court ruling that cited the 14th Amendment provision -- and was upheld by the New Mexico Supreme Court -- in ruling that former Otero County Commissioner Couy Griffin, who was merely present at the protest/riot and did not engage in any violence, was forever disqualified from holding office in the state due to his actions.

Democrats continue to demand states take action to block Trump

More recently, the editor of Colorado Newsline, Quentin Young, published an op-ed that declared former President Trump guilty of inciting and engaging in an insurrection and asserted that there was no "dispute" that Trump was therefore disqualified from holding office by virtue of the 14th Amendment.

Perhaps in recognition that Congress would not take any action to bar Trump from running for or holding office again, Young placed the burden of enforcing the 14th Amendment on the secretaries of state and top election officials of the several states and urged them to take steps to block the former president from appearing as a candidate on their respective ballots.

He further pointed to Colorado's Democratic Sec. of State Jena Griswold as a prominent leader of a state-led effort to do exactly that, though he acknowledged that it was easier said than done and would likely result in lawsuits either way -- whether from the right if Trump was disqualified from the ballot or from the left if he was not disqualified.

A similar cry came in an op-ed for The Nevada Independent, where legislators were considering a measure to prohibit "fake elector schemes" -- of which Trump is accused of conspiring to do to reverse the 2020 election results -- that would seemingly work hand-in-hand with the 14th Amendment to bar Trump from becoming the president again.

"We must use or create every legal tool possible to prevent similar attacks on our elections in the future. Senate Bill 133 addresses gaps in Nevada law to do just that. Constitutional disqualification is a century-old tool," the op-ed concluded. "Donald Trump continues to undermine our democracy by pursuing the presidency despite evidence of his disqualification, while promising to 'terminate the Constitution.' It is incumbent on all of us to educate our neighbors about old and new tools of accountability, and on government leaders to use them."

A popular Brazilian actor, Jefferson Machado, who was reported missing in January, has now been confirmed dead by family and officials.

Machado's body was discovered buried in a trunk in the backyard of a home in the Campo Grande neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro, the Western Journal reported.

That home was reportedly rented by a purported friend of Machado, and that unnamed individual is now under investigation by Brazilian authorities as the possible suspect in the actor's murder.

Found buried in a trunk under concrete

Portuguese-language media outlet R7 reported last week that Machado, 44, had been found stuffed inside of a trunk and buried under concrete in the backyard of the Rio home rented by one of the actor's friends.

The body was positively identified via fingerprints and reportedly showed signs of strangulation, including a "line" around his neck.

Family attorney Jairo Magalhaes Pereira told R7, "He had his arms tied behind his head and buried in a trunk that is very similar to the ones in his own house."

"Coldly and brutally murdered"

The murder of Machado was also announced and confirmed in an Instagram post to the actor's account, which has been managed since he went missing by a family friend named Cintia Hilsendeger.

"It is with great regret that we inform you that Jeff was found dead on 05/22/2023," the post stated. "Jefferson was coldly and brutally murdered by envious, evil and, of course, unscrupulous people."

The post went on to thank the police and everybody who had helped search for Machado and vowed to provide more information when it became available.

Mother and family were suspicious of foul play

The report from R7 noted that suspicions were raised among Machado's family and friends when he first went missing after it was learned that the eight dogs owned by Machado, who was "passionate" about rescuing and caring for animals, had been left alone in a state of "abandonment," which was not typical behavior for the actor.

The New York Post reported that Machado's mother, Maria das Dores, was also highly suspicious of text messages she received from her son's number after he went missing that, in her view, didn't sound like him and contained too many spelling errors.

She also believed that someone was impersonating her son with his phone due to the fact that wouldn't make or receive any calls -- an excuse that the cellphone had been dropped in a toilet was used -- and that the phone's location tracking was disabled and Machado's cloud password had been changed.

Attorney committed to "seek tirelessly for truth and justice"

Attorney Magalhaes also issued a translated statement on Facebook that read, in part: "As Jeff's family attorney, I am on a mission to keep a close eye on investigations. Preliminary information indicates that the actor's body was found in a trunk, buried in a hole of considerable depth. This situation deeply saddens us and indignant in the face of the suffering faced by Jeff."

"My commitment as a lawyer is to seek tirelessly for truth and justice. It is my responsibility to ensure that everyone involved in this brutal crime is held accountable and punished, and that Jeff’s family finds the support they need to get through this very painful time," he added.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is among the loudest warhawks in Congress who has labeled Russian President Vladimir Putin and other Russian officials as "war criminals" worthy of international prosecution, expressed full-fledged support for the U.S. provision of arms and support to Ukraine, and even seemed to speak approvingly of the deaths of Russian soldiers by the Ukrainian military.

Graham's vociferously anti-Russian stance appears to have resulted in Russia issuing a warrant for the South Carolina senator's arrest, the Western Journal reported.

A defiant Graham, however, who was already banned from entering Russia due to his outspoken support for Ukraine, responded on social media that he viewed the Russian arrest warrant for him as a "badge of honor" that he was proud to have received.

Arrest warrant issued

ABC News reported that the arrest warrant issued on Monday by the Russian Interior Ministry was in regard to an admittedly edited video clip released by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's office of remarks made by Graham during a visit to Kyiv on Friday.

In the clip edited by Ukraine that combined different parts of Graham's remarks together, it appeared as though Graham had celebrated the fact that "the Russians are dying" in Ukraine thanks to U.S. support and that the U.S. investment in Ukraine's defense was "the best money we’ve ever spent."

Russia's Investigative Committee immediately opened a criminal inquiry into the remarks, the Interior Ministry issued its arrest warrant for Graham, and Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said of the U.S. that "it's hard to imagine a greater shame for the country than having such senators."

"A Badge of Honor"

If Russia had thought that its arrest warrant for Sen. Graham would silence him or prompt a conciliatory response, they were sorely mistaken, as the South Carolina senator instead ramped up his rhetoric even further and flipped the developing situation right back on Russia and President Putin.

In a post to Twitter on Monday morning, Graham shared the ABC News report and tweeted, "I will wear the arrest warrant issued by Putin’s corrupt and immoral government as a Badge of Honor."

"To know that my commitment to Ukraine has drawn the ire of Putin’s regime brings me immense joy," he continued in a follow-up tweet. "I will continue to stand with and for Ukraine’s freedom until every Russian soldier is expelled from Ukrainian territory."

Graham concluded, "Finally, here’s an offer to my Russian ‘friends’ who want to arrest and try me for calling out the Putin regime as being war criminals: I will submit to jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court if you do. Come and make your best case. See you in The Hague!"

Russians can "stop dying" in Ukraine by ending invasion, Graham said

Reuters reported that Ukrainian President Zelensky's office essentially admitted that it had edited a video clip of Sen. Graham's remarks to be more provocative as a release of the full video showed that his comments about "Russians are dying" and the U.S. assistance being "the best money we've ever spent" were uttered at completely different points in his remarks.

That acknowledgment is unlikely to matter to Russia, however, as Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev said in a statement that "The old fool Senator Lindsey Graham said that the United States has never spent money so successfully as on the murder of Russians," and added, "He shouldn't have done that."

In a statement to Reuters, however, Graham fired back and said, "As usual the Russia propaganda machine is hard at work," and explained in context that he had told Zelensky "that Ukraine has adopted the American mantra, 'Live Free or Die.' It has been a good investment by the United States to help liberate Ukraine from Russian war criminals."

The senator added in the statement, "Mr. Medvedev, if you want Russians to stop dying in Ukraine, withdraw. Stop the invasion. Stop the war crimes. The truth is that you and Putin could care less about Russian soldiers."

On Friday, President Joe Biden welcomed to the White House the men's and women's NCAA basketball championship teams of the University of Connecticut Huskies and the Louisiana State University Tigers, respectively.

The White House live feed of the event honoring the LSU women's team was briefly interrupted following a scary moment in which one of the players fainted and collapsed on stage while Biden was speaking, the Daily Caller reported.

It was revealed just a short time later that the player, identified as Sa'Myah Smith, was fine, and Biden, who initially appeared visibly concerned, remarked that it was not uncommon for some people to faint while standing for long periods of time during White House events.

Player falls out during Biden's speech

The event began with remarks from first lady Jill Biden -- who sparked controversy after initially appearing to invite both LSU and the runner-up the University of Iowa Hawkeyes to the White House -- followed by a brief speech from Vice President Kamala Harris before President Biden finally began to speak with the LSU team members, coaches, and other personnel standing closely together on the stage.

At one point during the president's remarks, as he was referencing a similar event scheduled for later with the champion UConn Huskies men's team, the player suddenly fainted and collapsed and caused a moment of chaos and confusion as players and staff scrambled to move out of the way in order to clear space for medical personnel and Coach Kim Mulkey to tend to the fallen player.

Despite his own apparent concern, at least initially, Biden repeatedly attempted to reassure the audience that everything was ok and said, "Everything is all right. It’s a lot of standing. I apologize."

Following a pause of the event for several minutes, during which the White House feed was cut but cameras for other media outlets streaming the event continued to roll, the president picked back up right where he left off in his prepared remarks when the event resumed after he said, "Well, it’s -- like I said: This is not the first time it’s happened, not to her but to any -- a lot of folks standing up on this stage."

A little bit later, when Coach Mulkey stepped forward to say a few words, she first joked, "Sa’Myah planned that," but then said more seriously, "No, Sa’Myah is fine."

"For those of you who are concerned, Sa’Myah is fine. I’ll assure you of that," the coach added. "She’s kind of, right now, embarrassed. She doesn’t want to leave; she wants to stand with us, but she needs to be checked out."

Controversy over an initial apparent double invite to both winning and losing teams

There had actually been some rumors in the immediate aftermath of the NCAA women's basketball championship game that LSU would not accept an invitation to visit the White House after some of the team's players, such as star Angel Reese, had taken offense to a faux pas from the first lady when she seemingly extended an unprecedented invitation to both the winning and losing team in that game.

According to the New York Post, Jill Biden, who was in attendance at the game, said the next day, "I know we’ll have the champions come to the White House; we always do," but then added, "So, we hope LSU will come, but, you know, I’m going to tell Joe I think Iowa should come too, because they played such a good game."

That didn't sit well at all with Reese -- who sparked a controversy of her own over her sportsmanship by excessively taunting Iowa's star player Caitlin Clark -- who called the unprecedented apparent double-invitation a "joke" and made other critical comments that eventually prompted a walk-back of the first lady's comments by her spokesperson.

Ironically enough, Reese, a co-captain of the team, was prominently featured and praised repeatedly during the White House event on Friday by President Biden in particular along with the first lady and Vice President Harris.

Conservative Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton was temporarily suspended from office on Saturday following action taken by the establishment Republican-led Texas House of Representatives.

The suspension of AG Paxton was automatic per Texas law after the House voted 121-23 to impeach him on allegations of bribery, corruption, and official misconduct, the Daily Wire reported.

Paxton will remain suspended until a Senate impeachment trial concludes with either his acquittal and return to work or a conviction and removal plus disqualification from office, and in the meantime will be temporarily replaced with a stand-in appointed by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott.

Impeachment articles approved by Texas House

Axios reported that the House vote on Saturday to impeach AG Paxton -- only the third official to ever be impeached in Texas history -- followed the surprise revelation on Tuesday that he had been secretly under investigation for the past several months by the Texas House General Investigating Committee.

That committee had voted unanimously to recommend 20 articles of impeachment against the attorney general that largely involve allegations of bribery, corruption, and misconduct in relation to a close friend and donor of Paxton's, real estate developer Nate Paul.

They include accusations that Paxton took various actions and misused state resources in an effort to benefit his friend and his business.

Several of the articles are also in relation to allegations that Paxton fired four employees from his office in retaliation for them raising concerns about his conduct as well as a failed attempt to use $3.3 million in taxpayer dollars in a settlement to keep the whistleblowers silent and end a lawsuit they had filed.

Per Axios, it was Paxton's request to the legislature for those settlement funds -- which the House rejected -- that triggered the secretive committee investigation of the attorney general.

Paxton slams "politically motivated sham" impeachment

Following Saturday's vote, AG Paxton released a fiery statement that decried the "ugly spectacle" and "outrageous impeachment plot" against him that was "never meant to be fair or just" and was little more than a "politically motivated sham from the beginning."

He further lamented how the investigating committee had refused to allow him an opportunity to speak or present evidence in his own defense and "disregarded the law, ignored the facts, and demonstrated contempt for Texas voters."

Paxton also took issue with moderate Republican Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan for being "focused on political retribution against conservatives" instead of passing laws to further the conservative policy agenda, as well as Phelan's "coalition of Democrats and liberal Republicans" who now essentially were sided with the "Biden administration, the abortion industry, anti-gun zealots, and woke corporations" that were trying to sabotage him.

"I am beyond grateful to have the support of millions of Texans who recognize that what we just witnessed is illegal, unethical, and profoundly unjust," the impeached attorney general concluded. "I look forward to a quick resolution in the Texas Senate, where I have full confidence the process will be fair and just."

Unknown when Senate trial will be held

Axios reported that it was unclear when the Texas Senate, which is set to conclude the legislative session on Monday, would conduct the impeachment trial of AG Paxton that would require a two-thirds majority for conviction, though an announcement in that regard could be made on Monday.

If the session concludes without any such details about a trial, the senators could be called back into session by Gov. Abbott, who has thus far been silent on the matter, or Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who will preside over the trial, or the Senate's president pro tempore, or even a simple majority of the senators themselves.

The Supreme Court on Thursday issued a unanimous 9-0 ruling that the Environmental Protection Agency had overstepped its authority in regulating the "waters of the United States" and "wetlands" in going after an Idaho couple who sought to build a home on property next to a lake.

In response to the decision, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) ripped the "MAGA Supreme Court" for purportedly eroding the nation's environmental laws, Fox News reported.

Given the 9-0 unanimity of the Supreme Court's ruling, Schumer's logic would appear to suggest that liberal Justices Elena Kagen, Sonia Sotomayor, and Ketanji Brown Jackson are far-right-wing "MAGA" extremists, which quite obviously isn't the case.

Schumer labels entire Supreme Court as "MAGA" extremists

In reporting on the Supreme Court's decision, The Washington Post tweeted, "Breaking news: The Supreme Court on Thursday cut back the power of the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate the nation’s wetlands and waterways, another setback for the agency’s authority to combat pollution."

Sen. Schumer retweeted that post and added, "This MAGA Supreme Court is continuing to erode our country’s environmental laws. Make no mistake -- this ruling will mean more polluted water, and more destruction of wetlands. We’ll keep fighting to protect our waters."

Ironically enough, both of those tweets were appended with the same "Community Note" that provided additional context, namely, "All 9 judges agreed that the EPA overstepped its authority and that the plaintiffs' property should not be subject to EPA regulation. However, 4 judges disagreed with the majority's opinion on the limits of EPA authority with respect to wetlands."

Unanimous decision ... with differing concurring opinions

Indeed, SCOTUSblog reported that all nine justices were in full agreement that, in the case of Sackett v. EPA, the EPA lacked the authority to prohibit Idaho property owners Michael and Chantell Sackett from improving a piece of lakeside property with a home as their property didn't constitute wetlands that were "adjacent" to "navigable interstate waters" that the EPA is authorized by Congress to regulate.

That said, the majority opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito, which sought to more narrowly distinguish what specific statutory terms mean, was only joined in full by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, and Amy Coney Barrett.

Justice Thomas, joined by Gorsuch, wrote a concurring opinion that would have limited the EPA's power even further to what the federal government's initial jurisdiction had been when the Constitution was first adopted, primarily just waters used for commerce and transportation, with the individual states retaining the right to regulate all other non-navigable waters.

Justice Brett Kavanaugh also wrote a concurring opinion, joined by Justices Kagen, Sotomayor, and Jackson, that agreed with Alito with respect to the Sackett property but argued that his "narrowing" of the particular statutory terms would only cause more uncertainty and result in the court having to deal with the issue again in the future.

Finally, Justice Kagen wrote a concurring opinion of her own, joined by Sotomayor and Jackson, that similarly agreed that the EPA had gone too far with the Sacketts but nonetheless attacked the majority for its apparent "appointment of itself as the national decision-maker on environmental policy" in reference to other recent decisions that have rolled back the EPA's expansive claims of regulatory authority.

That may have been what Sen. Schumer was attempting to remark upon with his tweet, but his utter lack of any context or nuance resulted in an absurdly broad brush assault upon the court that swept up Kagen, Sotomayor, and Jackson as "MAGA" extremists.

Biden also lashes out

For what it is worth, Sen. Schumer was not alone in that regard, as President Joe Biden also issued a context-free and unnuanced statement slamming the "disappointing decision" from the unanimous Supreme Court that "will take our country backwards" and "puts our Nation’s wetlands -- and the rivers, streams, lakes, and ponds connected to them -- at risk of pollution and destruction, jeopardizing the sources of clean water that millions of American families, farmers, and businesses rely on."

And, in what could be interpreted as a subtle threat to ignore or sidestep the Supreme Court's authority, Biden added, "My team will work with the Department of Justice and relevant agencies to carefully review this decision and use every legal authority we have to protect our Nation’s waters for the people and communities that depend on them."

Former President Donald Trump has been hounded and maligned by critics for years -- and now even faces criminal charges -- over an alleged affair in 2006 with porn star Stormy Daniels that he purportedly sought to keep quiet with a "hush money" payment and non-disclosure agreement in 2016 that she violated when she came forward publicly in 2018.

Now Daniels has said in a recent interview that she regrets ever saying anything about the alleged affair with Trump at all, as it feels to her like "it was just for nothing," the New York Post reported.

She expressed her concern that despite everything that has been said and done against Trump in relation to her, she fears that he ultimately will "get away with" never having to face any real accountability for his alleged crimes.

"I spoke my truth, but it was just for nothing"

Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, appeared in-studio for an interview on "Good Morning Britain" while in the United Kingdom for a speaking engagement at Oxford University.

Asked about her expression of regret, Daniels said, "Nobody cares what the truth is anymore," and a moment later reiterated that "when you are showing people the actual facts and the evidence it just doesn't matter."

She went on to say that she didn't feel "defeated" but she did feel that "I spoke my truth, but it was just for nothing. I just feel like if people don’t want to face facts and see the truth and make a change and let somebody get away with this, then you know what, I’d rather have had the time back with my family."

Not "frightened" by Trump himself, but by his supporters and "sycophants"

Daniels went on to claim that she is continuously "attacked" by Trump supporters -- as has been her horse, albeit without any elaboration on that assertion -- and further claimed that "they have gone after friends and family.

She did note that she "absolutely" intended to testify against Trump at his upcoming trial in Manhattan, but said, "If I could go back and do it over, I almost -- this is a really terrible thing to say -- I almost feel like humans aren’t really worth saving at this point. Like, what's the point? Truth doesn't seem to matter."

Asked later if she was "frightened" by Trump's apparent power, Daniels replied, "Yes, we all should be," but then clarified a second later, "I’m not frightened of him. He doesn’t scare me at all. I’m frightened of his sycophants and his followers."

"Aand it’s the tone that has changed since the first time around" in terms of the threats that she has received and how most of the attackers were initially anonymous but "now they’ve become bold. And they’ve changed -- their threats are more real" and they are using "real accounts" and "real phone numbers."

Testifying against Trump would be "scary" and "daunting" but necessary

The Daily Wire reported that Daniels telling "Good Morning Britain" that she "absolutely" would still testify against Trump was similar to what she had told Piers Morgan in an interview last month when asked about the prospect of testifying.

Daniels said the idea was "scary" and "daunting, but I look forward to it" because "I have nothing to hide. I’m the only one that has been telling the truth, and you can’t shame me anymore."

She went on to suggest that not being called to testify might create a perception that her claims were unbelievable and said, "Having them call me in and put me on the stand legitimizes my story and who I am, and if they don’t, it almost feels like they’re hiding me."

In a shocking development on Thursday, a Republican-controlled investigative committee in the Republican-controlled state legislature recommended impeachment charges against a prominent elected Republican state official.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton was hit on Thursday with a recommendation of 20 articles of impeachment from the Texas House General Investigating Committee, Breitbart reported.

Those articles of impeachment could be brought to the floor of the Texas House for a full vote within a matter of days, and if passed by a simple majority of members, would trigger an impeachment trial in the Senate and Paxton's removal and disqualification from office if two-thirds of the state senators vote to convict.

20 Articles of Impeachment

The General Investigating Committee surprisingly revealed earlier this week that it had quietly been investigating several serious allegations against AG Paxton about a prominent real estate developer who is a close friend and donor, Nate Paul.

Paxton stands accused of bribery, misconduct, and misuse of official resources in multiple instances to take actions that benefited Paul.

The AG is alleged to have intervened on behalf of Paul in a lawsuit filed against him by a charitable foundation; of surreptitiously having a legal opinion written by staffers to benefit Paul; of refusing to release properly requested public records; of secretly providing non-public information to Paul; and of engaging an outside attorney to misuse grand jury subpoenas in a manner that benefited Paul's businesses.

Paxton is also alleged to have fired whistleblowers in his own office in retaliation for raising concerns; of conducting a "sham investigation" into those whistleblowers; and of using taxpayer funds in a settlement to keep the whistleblowers quiet. He is also accused of bribery on two counts, including that a mistress with whom Paxton had an extramarital affair was then employed by Paul and that Paxton received home renovations from Paul.

The attorney general is further alleged to have engaged in several acts of abuse of the judicial process, including with regard to a prior grand jury indictment against himself, and of making false statements in official records on multiple occasions, as well as allegations of conspiracy, misappropriation of public resources, dereliction of duty, being unfit for office, and abuse of the public's trust.

HR02377I -- Article of Impe... by Bob Price

Immediately suspended pending trial

Breitbart noted that if the Texas House votes to impeach AG Paxton, he will be immediately suspended from office pending a Senate trial, per Article 15, Section 5 of the Texas Constitution.

That same section also states that while an impeached state official is suspended pending trial, the state's governor, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, is authorized to make a "provisional appointment" as a temporary replacement for the suspended official until a final decision is rendered on whether to convict or acquit.

It is unclear when an impeachment trial in the Texas Senate would commence if the House votes to move forward with the impeachment of Paxton, but it would presumably happen within a short period.

Lt. Gov. Patrick would preside over the impeachment trial

In an interview with local ABC affiliate WFAA following the impeachment news, Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who would preside over a Senate trial, said, "I don’t cast a vote. The 31 members cast a vote. I preside over it. But we will all be responsible as any juror would be if that turns out to be, and I think the members will do their duty."

"It comes to the Texas Senate, there will be a trial conducted," he added. "I’m not at liberty to say anything really beyond that because I will be presiding over that case and the senators -- all 31 senators -- will have a vote. We’ll set the rules for that trial as we go forward and we’ll see how that develops."

It is not at all uncommon for President Joe Biden, among countless other politicians, to deliver an unfunny joke or cliched line during a speech that falls flat and fails to garner an expected response from the audience.

That is what happened to first lady Jill Biden on Thursday when she had to jokingly prompt an audience to clap at something she had just said, according to Fox News.

Biden forced to prompt applause from the audience

The first lady was delivering a speech on Thursday at the Ronald Reagan Institute Summit on Education in Washington D.C. when she offered up a line that she had anticipated would receive applause but instead was met with silence.

At the beginning of her prepared remarks, Biden said, "As I’ve traveled the country, I’ve visited red states and blue states. And I’ve found that the common values that unite us are deeper than our divisions."

She paused momentarily following that line but, after it was evident that there would be no applause, added, "And, um, I thought you might clap for that," which finally compelled a round of applause and laughter from the crowd.

The official White House transcript -- which is usually pretty good about actually adding in President Biden's gaffes and ad-libs -- of the first lady's speech did not include that particular line about clapping that had not been written by a speechwriter in her prepared remarks.

"That’s my applause line, come on!"

According to the New York Post, this wasn't the first time that first lady Biden has had to remind a crowd that they were supposed to have applauded something she had said, as a similar incident occurred in December 2019 during a small campaign event in Iowa on behalf of her then-candidate husband.

As part of a lengthy diatribe about how a Biden presidency would differ from that of then-President Donald Trump, the future first lady said, "Finally someone is standing up to the NRA and keeping our children and our schools safe," but then added with exasperation after she received no reaction, "That’s my applause line, come on!"

Jeb's "Please clap" moment

Both of those incidents bear a striking resemblance to a moment during the 2016 Republican primary season when former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush exemplified the "low energy" label slapped on him by then-candidate Trump when he literally had to meekly ask an audience to clap for something that he had just said.

In a rare display of passion and emotion, Bush took a swipe at Trump and told a crowd in New Hampshire, "I think the next president needs to be a lot quieter but send a signal that we're prepared to act in the national security interest of this country, to get back into the business of a more peaceful world."

Yet, when that line failed to garner the expected applause, a seemingly defeated and deflated Bush added plaintively, "Please clap," and though not quite official, that was the viral moment when his presidential bid was effectively over.

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