A judge has just rejected Kari Lake's request to examine ballot envelopes from Arizona's 2022 gubernatorial election, The Hill reports

Lake was the Republican candidate in that election, which she ended up losing to Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs (D-AZ) by a tally of roughly 17,000 votes.

Lake, however, has maintained that she did not lose the election. Rather, she has alleged that the election was stolen from her, and she has been attempting to use the judiciary to prove it.

Lake's lawsuits, thus far, have proved unsuccessful. The Washington Examiner reports:

In May, a judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by Lake accusing Maricopa County of not verifying signatures on mail ballots as required by law. In February, a court rejected Lake’s lawsuit claiming problems with ballot printers at some polling places.

The latest

This latest ruling comes from Lake's third lawsuit, which began in September 2023. As part of this lawsuit, Lake has asked for access to ballot envelopes from the roughly 1.3 million early voters in the 2022 gubernatorial election.

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge John Hannah, this past week, rejected this request.

"Ms. Lake regards the electoral process much like the villagers in the famous fable regarded the goose that laid the golden egg, except that her goose failed to lay the egg she expected," Hannah wrote.

He continued, "She insists that something must have gone wrong. If only she could cut open the electoral process and examine each of its 1.3 million pieces, she says, she would be able to figure out what happened and show that the prize has been there waiting for her all along."

Hannah went on like this for 12 pages.

Lake responds

Lake responded to Hannah's ruling in a message that she posted to her "Kari Lake War Room" X account. In the message, Lake attempted to spin Hannah's ruling.

Lake wrote:

The judge ruled that while these records are public. The public has no right to see them. We can no longer trust or verify. Corrupt election officials are allowed to handle the peoples’s business in back rooms knowing the judiciary will not hold them accountable.

The judge ruled that while these records are public. The public has no right to see them.

We can no longer trust or verify.

Corrupt election officials are allowed to handle the peoples’s business in back rooms knowing the judiciary will not hold them accountable. https://t.co/hZV5I7ySBi

— Kari Lake War Room (@KariLakeWarRoom) November 30, 2023

Lake followed this up with several other messages to the same effect.

The Examiner reports, "[T]he judge’s ruling confirmed that the records are not public and use nonpublic information in the voter registration records, such as the end digits of a Social Security number."

U.S. Rep. James Comer (R-KY) is insisting that Hunter Biden provide private testimony to his committee. 

Comer did so in a letter that he sent to Hunter Biden's attorney, Abbe Lowell, on Friday, Dec. 1. The letter can be read in its entirety here.

As the leader of the House Oversight Committee, Comer has been one of the House members who has been leading the investigation into the Biden family. As part of this investigation, Comer has subpoenaed Hunter Biden, seeking testimony from him.

Comer's letter to Lowell comes after Lowell, on behalf of Hunter Biden, offered to have Hunter Biden testify before the committee publicly.

Comer rejects Lowell's offer

In his letter to Lowell, Comer rejects Lowell's offer. Comer said that, while Hunter Biden will have to testify publicly at some point, initially this testimony will take place behind closed doors, in accordance with precedent.

"Pursuant to the terms of the subpoenas, the Rules of the House of Representatives, and the respective Committee rules, this testimony will occur initially in a deposition setting, as has been the consistent practice of Committees of theHouse of Representatives in recent Congresses - during both Republican and Democrat majoritiesas well as these Committees during this inquiry," Comer wrote.

He added, "We also appreciate your confirmation that Mr. Biden is willing to testify at a public hearing. We look forward to his testimony in a hearing at the appropriate time."

"A demand to receive special treatment"

Comer goes on to accuse Lowell of having made "several baseless and misleading assertions" in the letter that Lowell previously sent to Comer. And, Comer spends a good amount of space correcting the record.

"Your letter is merely an extension of your coordinated campaign to discredit the allegations against Mr. Biden, distort the truth, and attack the integrity of witnesses against Mr.Biden," Comer writes. 

He later adds, "Mr. Biden’s attempt to avoid sitting for a deposition pursuant to the terms of the subpoenas - by offering instead to testify at a public hearing - amounts to a demand that he receive special treatment from the Committees."

What now?

Currently, Hunter Biden is scheduled to provide private testimony to Comer's committee on Dec. 13, 2023.

Previously, Lowell and Biden have said that Hunter Biden is "eager" to testify "in a public forum."

But, Lowell and Hunter Biden have suggested that Biden is less willing to provide this testimony behind closed doors.

So, it remains unclear as to whether Hunter Biden is going to show up on Dec. 13.

Former President Donald Trump continues to target Judge Arthur Engoron. 

Trump is using his Truth Social account to do so. Over the past few days, Trump has published several posts targeting not only Engoron but members of Engoron's family, Engoron's clerk, New York Attorney General Letitia James (D), and others.

James is the one who has brought this civil fraud case against Trump, alleging that the former president illegally overvalued his assets on financial documents.

Trump has maintained his innocence, and he has alleged that James, Engoron, and the others have targeted him in order to interfere with his presidential campaign.

Trump's latest target: Engoron's wife

For months now, Trump has been targeting Engoron, Engoron's clerk, and James. But, this week, Trump has started to go after Engoron's wife.

On Wednesday, Trump wrote:

Judge Engoron’s Trump Hating wife, together with his very disturbed and angry law clerk, have taken over control of the New York State Witch Hunt Trial aimed at me, my family, and the Republican Party. This is such an embarrassment to all within the New York State Judicial System, as murder and violent crime rage like never before!

Later in the day, Trump retweeted reporting from Laura Loomer claiming that, in one way or another, Engoron's whole family is involved in the targeting of Trump.

The former president, after adding his own captions, retweeted X messages that Loomer claims are from an X account that belongs to Engoron's wife. Here is one example.

The messages generally state that Trump is headed to prison, and they include fabricated images showing Trump in prison attire.

Engoron's wife responds

Engoron's wife, through a spokesperson, has claimed that the social media posts cited by Loomer and Trump do not belong to her.

The spokesperson said, "Justice Engoron’s wife has sent no social media posts regarding the former president. They are not hers."

Trump, however, is not buying it.

In one of his latest messages, he wrote:

Judge Engoron’s Wife deleted her account yesterday, because what she said, in any other Court in the Nation, would call for an immediate Mistrial with sanctions against the Judge and the Attorney General. We demand to see her account before it was deleted, and all other Family Members likewise. Judge Engoron is a Trump Hater and Puppet for Letitia James, all wrapped up in one!

In the meantime, the appellate court has reimposed the gag order that Engoron had imposed on Trump. It does not appear, though, that the gag order prevents Trump from speaking about Engoron or his wife.

Bill Ackman, the billionaire hedge fund manager, is calling for President Joe Biden to "step aside" in order to allow another Democrat to represent the party in the 2024 presidential election. 

Ackman said as much during a recent appearance on Bloomberg Television's The David Rubenstein Show: Peer-to-Peer Conversations. 

Ackman, during the interview, questioned Biden's current "intellectual" capacity.

Ackman even went so far as to say that he would be "more open" to voting for a Republican candidate in 2024 than to voting for Biden, should Biden continue to pursue reelection.

"Step aside" Biden

To help put Ackman's remarks into perspective, it has to be noted that he has been a supporter of Biden.

During the Bloomberg interview, for example, Ackman said, "Biden’s done a lot of good things."

So, Ackman's argument is not that Biden ought to forego reelection because he has been a bad president. Rather, Ackman's argument seems to be that Biden does not have the capacity to effectively lead the country for another term.

Referring to Biden, Ackman told Bloomberg, "I think his legacy will not be a good one if he is the nominee. The right thing for Biden to do is to step aside, and to say he’s not going to run, and create the opportunity for some competition."

Later in the interview, Ackman added, "You need to be at your intellectual best, and I don’t think Biden is there. I don’t say that, you know, with any derision of the president, but I think he’s clearly past his physical and cognitive peak."

Many others agree

If you have been following 2024 polls and 2024 reporting, then it is likely that you know that Ackman is not alone in his opinion. There are many Democrats who believe that the party, in 2024, ought to head in a direction other than Biden.

ABC News recently reported:

Three-quarters of Americans (74%) said Biden was too old to run for another term in a survey conducted by ABC News and the Washington Post in September.

But, age - and the decreased capacity that comes along with age - is not the only problem that Americans have with Biden. The truth is that, at the moment, it is hard to find a poll that is favorable for Biden.

This has led to serious concerns, within the Democratic Party, about Biden's chances of winning in 2024, regardless of who the Republican nominee will be. But, the question is: "if not Biden, then who?"

This is the Democrats' 2024 problem. Ackman pointed to U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips (D-MN). But, polling, thus far, does not suggest that Phillips - or, for that matter, anyone else - can really challenge Biden, which is why some, like Ackman, are calling for Biden to "step aside."

Derek Chauvin is expected to survive his recent prison stabbing, NBC News reports

Chauvin is the former Minneapolis, Minnesota, police officer who has been convicted of murdering George Floyd. Chauvin is the officer who infamously knelt on Floyd's neck for over nine minutes, while Floyd repeatedly said, "I can't breathe."

Chauvin is currently serving a 22-and-one-half-year state prison sentence for second-degree murder, and he is also serving a 21-year federal prison sentence for violating Floyd's civil rights.

The stabbing incident took place at the medium-security Federal Correctional Institution in Tucson, Arizona, on Friday, Nov. 24, 2023.

What happened?

According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, the stabbing incident occurred on Friday at about 12:30 p.m.

"The Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) said an inmate at the Federal Correctional Institution in Tucson was stabbed about 12:30 p.m. Friday," the Washington Post reports.

The outlet continues, "The agency’s news release about the stabbing, dated Friday, did not name the inmate but said responding employees contained the incident and performed 'life-saving measures' before the person was taken to a hospital for further treatment and evaluation."

Chauvin is reported to have been seriously injured in the attack, but specifics have not been provided. The Bureau of Prisons has said that no one else was involved in the incident, other than Chauvin and the individual who stabbed him.

The Bureau of Prisons has also indicated that it has informed the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) about Chauvin's stabbing.

The latest update

The press secretary for Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison has put out a statement, on Saturday, saying that Chauvin is expected to survive the stabbing.

"I can confirm that, as of last night, Chauvin was expected to survive," the press secretary said.

Ellison, himself, has also put out a statement on the matter. He refused to go into details about the stabbing, but he did say:

I am sad to hear that Derek Chauvin was the target of violence. He was duly convicted of his crimes and, like any incarcerated individual, he should be able to serve his sentence without fear of retaliation or violence.

Gregory M. Erickson, Chauvin's attorney, has put out his own statement blasting the government for not being more transparent about Chauvin's stabbing.

NBC 4 reports:

Erickson said Chauvin's family and his attorneys have hit a wall trying to obtain information about the attack from Bureau of Prisons officials. He said Chauvin's family has been forced to assume he is in stable condition, based only on news accounts, and has been contacting the prison repeatedly seeking updates but have been provided with no information.

More than a dozen members of the U.S. House of Representatives are not seeking reelection in 2024, according to a report from the Washington Examiner. 

What's more is that most of them are Democrats.

The Examiner reports that, thus far, 15 "House incumbents are forgoing reelection to the lower chamber . . . in 2024."

Of this group of 15, the outlet reports that 11 are Democrats and four are Republicans.

The list of outgoing Republicans

The four House Republicans who will not be seeking reelection in 2024 are U.S. Reps. Jim Banks (R-IN), Dan Bishop (R-NC), Bill Johnson (R-OH), and Alex Mooney (R-WV).

All four have big plans.

Banks is looking to replace outgoing U.S. Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN). Bishop is running to become the next attorney general of North Carolina. And, Mooney will be looking to fill the U.S. Senate seat that is being vacated by U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV).

Johnson, on the other hand, has slightly different plans. He is going to become the next president of Youngstown State University.

The list of outgoing Democrats

It includes U.S. Reps. Colin Allred (D-TX), Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), Jeff Jackson (D-NC), Andy Kim (D-NJ), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Adam Schiff (D-CA), Katie Porter (D-CA), Lisa Rochester (D-DE), Elissa Slotkin (D-MI), Abigail Spanberger (D-VA), and David Trone (D-MD).

Like the outgoing Republicans, these outgoing Democrats also have other plans in politics. Allred is looking to unseat U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX). Ruben is hoping to replace outgoing U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ). Jackson is running in the same race as Bishop to become the next attorney general of North Carolina.

Kim is looking to obtain U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez's (D-NJ) seat, given the legal problems that Menendez has found himself in. Lee, Schiff, and Porter are all vying for the seat of the late U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). Rochester is hoping to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE).

Slotkin is also hoping to move up to the U.S. Senate, eyeing the seat of outgoing U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI). Spanberger is running for the governorship of Virginia. And, finally, Trone is looking to grab the U.S. Senate seat of U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD), who has decided to forego reelection.

What of it?

Despite the large number of departures, Democrats still think that they have a good chance of regaining control of the House in the 2024 election. The polls currently label it a toss-up.

The U.S. Senate, however, is a different story. Given, the number of seats they are defending, experts believe it will be difficult for the Democrats to maintain control of the upper chamber in 2024.

This week, the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court will hear a case regarding a possible violation of the U.S. Constitution's Seventh Amendment right to a trial by jury -- huge news for Donald Trump, who has multiple cases coming down the line. 

The case, according to the Wall Street Journalis SEC v. Jarkesy. 

The outlet reports that the justices will hear the case on Wednesday, Nov. 29. 2023.

A question that the justices will be considering is whether the Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) use of in-house judges to settle matters is a violation of the Seventh Amendment's right to a trial by jury.

SEC v. Jarkesy

The issues that the justices will consider in SEC v. Jarkesy all stem from the U.S. Congress's passing of the Dodd-Frank Act following the 2008 financial crisis. It was this act that gave the SEC the power to use its own in-house administrative law judges (ALJs) to try the agency's enforcement cases.

Jarkesy is George R. Jarkesy. According to the Daily Caller, Jarkesy "has been caught in the SEC’s administrative proceedings since the agency charged him with fraud relating to his investment activities in 2013."

Jarskey has alleged that the powers that Congress granted to the SEC in the Dodd-Frank Act are unconstitutional. And, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has agreed.

"Mr. Jarkesy appealed to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, arguing that SEC tribunals violate his Seventh Amendment right to trial by jury. He also contended that multiple layers of for-cause tenure protections for ALJs from presidential removal offend the constitutional separation of powers," The Journal reports.

The outlet adds, "The Fifth Circuit ruled for Mr. Jarkesy on all counts."

The matter is now headed to SCOTUS

Now, SEC v. Jarkesy is headed to the U.S. Supreme Court. There are three big issues that the justices will consider, including whether the use of ALJs violates the Seventh Amendment's right to a trial by jury.

The other two issues are whether Congress, via the Dodd-Frank Act, unconstitutionally granted powers to the SEC and whether the removal restrictions referred to above are unconstitutional.

Regarding the trial by jury issue, the SEC, citing precedent, is arguing that the right only exists when private - rather than public - rights are at stake. But, the question here is "When are public rights at stake?"

The Journal reports:

The SEC tries to muddy the public-private distinction by arguing that public rights are at stake whenever the government sues on behalf of the “public” to enforce laws. But as Mr. Jarkesy points out, the SEC is seeking to deprive him of a core right for a common-law offense that he allegedly committed against other private citizens. The historical record supports his argument.

We'll have to see what the justices of the Supreme Court decide. This could end up being a landmark Seventh Amendment case.

Pope Francis, the leader of the Catholic Church, says that he has been battling lung inflammation. 

The 86-year-old Francis, according to the Associated Press, made the revelation on Sunday, when he gave the traditional noon blessing.

Francis normally gives the blessing via the window overlooking St. Peter's Square. But, this past Sunday, he gave it via television from his living quarters, in the Vatican hotel.

"Brothers and sisters, happy Sunday. Today, I cannot appear at the window because I have this problem of inflammation of the lungs," Francis said.

The pope has the flu

The day before Francis made this announcement - on Saturday, Nov. 25, 2023 - the Vatican revealed that the pope had contracted the flu. This caused him to cancel all of his appearances on that day.

Instead, Francis underwent testing at Rome's Gemelli hospital. Those tests, according to Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni, were all negative.

The Associated Press separately reported, "Pope Francis went to the hospital Saturday for tests after he came down with the flu, but the results ruled out any respiratory problems, the Vatican said."

It is unclear whether the situation changed at all between Saturday and Sunday.

Earlier this year, Francis also had to make a trip to Gemelli Hospital for respiratory problems. Then, he had to be hospitalized for three days as he battled what he called pneumonia, although the Vatican called it bronchitis.

Francis still plans to attend the COP28 gathering

It appears that, this time around, Francis's illness may not be as bad because, according to Fox News, the pope says that he is still planning on making a three-day trip to the United Arab Emirates for the COP28 climate change gathering.

There, Francis is even expected to deliver a speech. Climate change is one of the global issues that Francis, during his tenure, has been passionate about addressing.

On Saturday, a priest read a statement on the matter that was written by Francis. The priest said:

Besides war, our world is threatened by another great peril, that of climate change, which puts at risk life on Earth, especially for future generations. I thank all who will accompany this voyage with prayer and with the commitment to take to heart the safeguarding of the common house.

For now, it appears that Francis will continue receiving treatment for his illness.

The Associated Press reports:

In the footage, it could be seen that the pope had a bandage on his right hand and what appeared to be a cannula. The Vatican didn’t immediately respond to a query from The Associated Press about whether he was receiving intravenous or some other treatment.

Former President Donald Trump has released wrapping paper for the Christmas season with his mugshot on it, the Washington Examiner reports

This is the same mugshot that was taken earlier this year in Fulton County, Georgia.

There, District Attorney Fani Willis (D) has indicted Trump, alleging that the former president engaged in criminal activity when he and his associates attempted to challenge the results of the 2020 presidential election.

Trump has pled "not guilty" to the charges, and he has alleged that Willis, on behalf of the Democrats, is merely trying to interfere with his 2024 campaign, given that he is the clear Republican frontrunner.

The wrapping paper

Trump revealed the wrapping paper, with his mugshot, on Sunday, offering it up for sale on the website for his 2024 campaign. The former president is referring to it as "Never Surrender Wrapping Paper."

In the photograph of the product, one can see many small images of Trump's mugshot, but there is a twist. In the wrapping paper, Trump's team put a Christmas hat on the former president.

It appears that there are at least two different ways to get the wrapping paper. One is to pay $35 for a set of three sheets, measuring 21 inches by 39 inches.

The other way would be to make a $47 donation to Trump's 2024 campaign. Anyone who donates $47 will get the wrapping paper as a free bonus.

The dollar amount, no doubt, represents what Trump hopes to become, namely, the 47th president of the United States.

Raking in the cash

This new wrapping paper is just one of many ways that Trump has been looking to capitalize off of his mugshot.

"The mugshot photo of Trump was taken earlier this year related to one of the numerous indictments he is facing, including his attempt to overturn the 2020 election results in Georgia. Since then, he has used the photo as a basis for several different merchandise items, including t-shirts, coffee mugs, and posters," the Examiner reports.

The outlet adds, "Trump has made millions of dollars off his mugshot merchandise, with over $9.4 million made from it in less than a week in late August."

There is little doubt that the political left was hoping to capitalize off of Trump's mugshot - as well as his indictments. But, it has not happened.

Not only does Trump continue to rake in money from mugshot merchandise, but, since the indictments, he has only gone up in the polls. Now, he is leading President Joe Biden in 2024 general election polls by, on average, 2.3 percentage points - and his lead only keeps getting bigger.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) recently had to call in reinforcements to help address the southern border crisis. 

This is according to a new report from the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Per the outlet:

Border Patrol called in reinforcements to help as agents grow increasingly overwhelmed by migrants in an area of southern Arizona, according to an internal Sunday message to agency officials obtained exclusively by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

The outlet then revealed the contents of the memo.

The epicenter

It refers to the migrant processing center that is located in Tucson, Arizona. This is one of the facilities where illegal immigrants who illegally cross the U.S.-Mexico border are held.

The Daily Caller, citing two anonymous Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials, reports that the Tucson migrant processing center, as of Sunday, has about 4,600 illegal immigrants in custody.

To help put things into perspective, the Daily Caller reports that CBP currently has about 20,000 illegal immigrants in processing centers nationwide.

This is why reinforcements had to be called to the Tucson processing center. The memo directs CBP officers from Douglas, Arizona, to report to the Tucson facility for "processing and transportation support."

According to Daily Caller, the memo also calls for "specialized units, such as horse patrols, and manning sensors for illegal aliens running from law enforcement."

"Unprecedented flow"

The situation, apparently, is so out of control, that the Tucson Border Patrol, on Sunday, decided to shut down its social media accounts.

In an X message, John Modlin, the Chief Patrol Agent of the Tucson Sector, explained:

In light of the ongoing migration surge, all Tucson Sector Border Patrol social media accounts will be temporarily reduced to maximize our available staffing in support of our current operational challenges.

In a subsequent X message, Modlin wrote:

At this time, all available personnel are needed to address the unprecedented flow. The social media team will return once the situation permits. We will continue to post our Week in Review statistics, demonstrating the continued efforts of our agents and staff.

This is all the result of the Biden administration's open border policies. America has seen record levels of illegal immigration since Biden took over. And, despite measures that Biden, earlier this year, supposedly took to address the problem, the problem has continued.

CBP witnessed 2.2 million illegal immigrant encounters during the 2022 fiscal year, and it witnessed another 2 million during the 2023 fiscal year.

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