The attorneys for former President Donald Trump escalated their vocal criticism on Monday against the judge who is presiding over his civil fraud trial as well as his principal law clerk.
This comes only a few days after claims that both of these individuals had been subjected to "hundreds" of intimidating threats, as The Messenger reported.
In a pair of rulings that were temporarily halted by an intermediate appellate court, Justice Arthur Engoron of the Manhattan Supreme Court previously prevented President Trump and his counsel from making statements about his personnel.
Clifford Robert, an attorney representing Donald Trump, submitted a request to the Appellate Division of the First Department of New York on Monday, requesting that the gag orders be permanently overturned. These restrictions prohibit attacks on Engoron's staff, but not on the judge himself.
Engoron provided a justification for the orders by stating that "hundreds of harassing and threatening phone calls, voicemails, emails, letters, and packages" have poured into chambers since the beginning of the trial. He stated that this was done in order to protect the safety of his staff.
Legal counsel for Trump played down the chance that "an unknown third party may react in a hostile or offensive manner" to the former president's attacks on the clerk.
"This should be rejected," Robert wrote, insisting there is "no indication" Trump has "any connection or exercise any control" over individuals making the threats.
While court security officer pointed to an increase in threats against the clerk spike after Trump comments on social media, the Trump family's attorney disavowed any connection between the events.
"It bears repeating that President Trump and his counsel have never called for violence against the Principal Law Clerk nor encouraged, or even condoned, the behavior [court security Capt. Charles] Hollon describes," wrote Robert, who was questioning a defense witness when the almost 2,000 page filing was filed in the appellate court.
After the former president spoke out about his frustration with the court cases on social media, judges and prosecutors who are connected to Trump's criminal cases have reported that they are often subjected to threats and harassment.
At the same time U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, who is presiding over Trump's federal election obstruction case in Washington, D.C., received another death threat that led to an indictment.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who returned the first indictment against Trump in the hush money case, has reportedly received a death threat in an envelope that contained a white powder, has also received a death threat.
The gag order was issued by Engoron on the second day of the trial, in response to Trump's social media allegations that the clerk was the "girlfriend" of the Democratic Senate majority leader, married Sen. Chuck Schumer. The initial restraining order was issued after the former president complied with the judge's order that he remove the "untrue" and "disparaging" post.
Since then, Trump has been convicted of twice violating the gag order, accumulating a total of $15,000 in penalties that are currently being appealed.
"Each time Justice Engoron has sua sponte punished President Trump, he warns that the punishments will increase in severity until, apparently, Justice Engoron imprisons President Trump without abiding by any procedural protection to which President Trump is entitled by law," Robert's filing states.
Last Monday, a state judge decided that former President Donald Trump had participated in an insurrection on January 6, 2021, but that the judge permitted him to continue to be on the ballot for president anyhow, as the New York Times reported.
In a case that is being heard all across the country to determine whether or not Trump is eligible to run for office again, the Supreme Court of Colorado decided on Tuesday that it will hear an appeal of a lower court's decision that allowed Trump to stay on the primary ballot in Colorado.
Plaintiffs asserted, with reference to Trump's efforts to question the results of the 2020 election, that anyone who "engaged in insurrection or rebellion" against the Constitution after having taken an oath to support it is ineligible to hold public office.
This argument leaned on the third section and a of the 14th Amendment, which plaintiffs invoked in their argument.
Judge Sarah B. Wallace came to the conclusion that Trump had participated in an uprising due to his activities both before and during the attack on the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021.
On the other hand, she did not prevent Trump from continuing to be on the ballot based on her interpretation that the disqualification clause of the 14th Amendment did not apply to the president of the United States.
Trump's spokesperson, Steven Cheung, issued a statement after Judge Wallace's order last week, in which he referred to it as “another nail in the coffin of the un-American ballot challenges.”
On Monday evening, the plaintiffs submitted their appeal to the Colorado Supreme Court, and the court agreed to consider the case on a more expedited schedule. The attorneys representing Trump are required to submit a brief in the matter by the following Monday, and oral arguments are set to begin on December 6th.
Jena Griswold, a Democrat who is now serving as the secretary of state for Colorado, has stated in the past that she will abide by whatever ruling that is in effect on January 5, 2024, which is the day of state's deadline for certifying candidates on the ballot for the March 5 primary.
Mario Nicolais, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, said that the fast pace of the court schedule would, to his mind, indicate that “the Supreme Court has taken this with the seriousness that it requires.”
He also added that his clients "are confident that we will come away from the Colorado Supreme Court with a victory and that he will be barred from being on the ballot.”
Similar petitions regarding Trump's ballot eligibility were filed all over the country this year. Some courts turned them down, some have already been tried, and some are still pending, as The Epoch Times reported.
Three different states' courts have decided on these petitions, and each time they have rejected the petitioners' arguments. Trump was allowed to be on the primary ballots in Minnesota, Michigan, and eventually Colorado.
The first federal judge in Florida to turn down a similar case said she didn't have the power to hear it. Before that, a court in New Hampshire had also turned down a similar claim, saying that the matter was more political than legal.
Reality television star Brandi Mallory has died at the age of 40, according to a report by People Magazine online.
While the cause of Mallory's death has not been disclosed, a representative from the Fulton County Medical Examiner's office has confirmed that the star died on Nov. 9.
Mallory, who appeared on Season 4 of the ABC series Extreme Weight Loss, which aired in 2014, has stayed somewhat in the public light since her stint on television,
In a 2018 YouTube interview with Atlanta-based journalist Kirby Carroll, the star and makeup artist spoke out about how she ended up on the show in the first place.
During the course of the interview, she shared that the passing of one of her sorority sisters at the age of 29 was the driving force behind her choice to embark on a weight loss journey.
"I was literally waking up every day like... this may be my last day waking up, like, I don't know what's going to happen for me," she said.
"When it's playing on your mind that I might need to do something about my weight, because I'm afraid I might die too, then you might need to pay attention to something like that."
Mallory initially tried out to be on The Biggest Loser, but didn't get chosen for that show, which has a long history on cable television.
The producers sent the makeup artist the details about Extreme Weight Loss after she didn't make the show, something that she considers to have been a divine intervention.
"Literally every footstep since then has been God. I prayed over that application before I sent it off; I prayed every step of the way," she said at the time.
At her heaviest, Mallory weighed about 329 pounds, as she confessed on the show. While competing on Extreme Weight Loss, she took on the Half Ironman, a triathlon that required her to swim, bike, and run a total of 70.3 miles in under eight hours.
Mallory has kept up her dance fitness routine since her appearance on the show. She had a large Instagram following because of her enthusiastic posts about beauty products and working out. On November 3rd, the 40-year-old woman wrote her final update.
Nothing appeared out of the ordinary, the television star shared her experience at the farmer's market. The post's comments have flooded with fans asking what happened to the star.
Extreme Weight Loss season 5 contestant Kim Williams Maxile offered a tribute, saying that Mallory would be missed and that she would never forget the inspiring achievements of the late star.
"You truly made an impact on this world with your zest and your passion for body positivity. I’m blessed to have gotten to experience you in this world," Maxile said.
The Republican-controlled House declined to progress the effort to impeach Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas after a privilege resolution saw a vote on the House floor.
The resolution was voted on late in the evening on Nov 13, after Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) introduced the resolution the Thursday before, as The Epoch Times reported.
Because of the nature of the resolution, the House was bound to take it up within two legislative days, forcing lawmakers to take sides.
The resolution asserts that Mayorkas is guilty of a miscarriage of his duties to protect the states, due to the excessive illegal immigration that the resolution asserts is a result of DHS policy.
The lawmakers voted 209-201 to send the resolution back to committee, essentially keeping the measure on ice until the committee chair chooses to take the measure up.
The vote came after a Democratic motion sent the resolution back to the Homeland Security Committee, something that eight Republicans joined Democrats in agreeing to.
After the resolution, which has been an important issue to Greene, was not met with sufficient support by her party, currently in the majority, Greene told reporters that lawmakers who voted against this measure will have to face their voters and justify their decision.
"My articles of Impeachment on Mayorkas have been sitting for months in the Judiciary Committee, and many of the same Republicans that voted with Democrats to refer back to committees sit on the Judiciary Committee," the Georgia lawmaker said.
"So they stood with the Democrats to protect Secretary Mayorkas and prevent his impeachment by putting it back in the Judiciary Committee where they can put articles of impeachment up on the shelf to collect more dust," she declared.
When she introduced the measure, Greene told reporters that it was high time that lawmakers do something to speak up for the Americans who are impacted negatively by the DHS secretary’s policy decisions.
"Just yesterday, two of my constituents from Dalton in Whitfield County, Georgia, were killed in a high-speed head-on collision at the hands of human traffickers smuggling illegal aliens into our country," stated Ms. Greene in a press release concerning the impeachment push.
Greene asserted that Mayorkas had contravened the Secure Fence Act of 2006, which guarantees border security. A border is only considered legally secure if no illegal immigrants or smuggled goods are entering the country.
“Alejandro Nicholas Mayorkas, in his inability to enforce the law, has engaged in a pattern of conduct that is incompatible with his duties as a civil officer of the United States,” Greene’s resolution stated.
When addressing her decision to force the vote, Greene said, “America can’t wait anymore. This is a national security crisis and people are dying every single day.
"We have a duty to make sure that people that serve in the federal government are upholding our laws. Secretary Mayorkas is breaking the law. Our country has been invaded,” she concluded.
At an event attended by union officials and Allegheny County legislators, First Lady Jill Biden lauded the Pittsburgh area for its rapid adoption of industrial labor and spoke of the county's "boundless possibilities."
Her roughly hour-long visit to Carnegie Mellon University's Mill 19, a discovery workspace, was part of a two-state tour that started in Georgia on Wednesday to promote how President Joe Biden's "Bidenomics" strategy is delivering investments and jobs to communities around the country, as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
The branding was adopted by the Biden administration to promote infrastructure spending, domestic manufacturing, and new job opportunities in fields like biotechnology and renewable energy.
According to Mrs. Biden, the United States economy has recovered from the COVID-19 epidemic thanks to the dramatic change brought about by her husband's initiatives.
“In this incredible space of innovation and renewal, think of how much has changed,” Mrs. Biden said.
“Businesses are growing, jobs are coming back, unemployment is at a record low, buildings are going up. … There’s a bright, vibrant future ahead of Allegheny County. A future that everyone in this room can be a part of.”
Hazelwood Green was one of the most productive steel mills in the Pittsburgh area, and that's where Mrs. Biden made her speech.
Mill 19 is now home to Carnegie Mellon University's Manufacturing Futures Institute, which is conducting some of the most cutting-edge manufacturing research in the United States.
Mrs. Biden addressed a group of about a hundred local residents and elected officials, who were assembled in the facility's machine shop.
Voters, Democratic officials, and even the president himself have all expressed their distaste for "Bidenomics," the derogatory nickname for Joe Biden's economic views, as NBC News reported.
Even its own namesake doesn't understand what this phrase means. Biden said, "I don't know what the hell that is," in a speech he gave this year in Philadelphia.
In a focus group with Pennsylvania swing voters in September, one of the participants described the concept as a "jumbled mess," adding, "It's really hard to explain."
Biden is unfazed, at least for the time being. He has campaigned all throughout the country, praising "Bidenomics" as the reason the economy is doing well under his watch. On his watch, he claims, the economy has grown rapidly, and billions of dollars have been invested in infrastructure projects including new roads, bridges, and renewable energy sources.
While speaking to a crowd in Minnesota last week, Vice President Biden twice used the phrase "the American Dream" to describe Bidenomics.
In a night time address to his people on Monday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky declared that any deliberations concerning the 2024 presidential election in his nation were “absolutely irresponsible” in view of the ongoing Russian invasion.
Zelensky assumed the presidency in 2019 subsequent to emerging victorious as the "pro-Russian" candidate in opposition to incumbent Petro Poroshenko, who was pro-Western and a member of the establishment, Breitbart News reported.
The current president's approval ratings experienced a substantial decline in 2020 due to his perceived inadequate handling of the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic.
However, they surged dramatically in response to the Russian "special operation" that commenced in February 2021 with the intention of removing him from office.
Zelensky's presidential term is set to conclude in 2024; however, the ongoing martial law in Ukraine renders the conduct of a presidential election unconstitutional.
However, Zelensky had previously stated that he would be amenable to holding elections if Western nations paid for them, and as recently as November 3, his top diplomat Dmytro Kuleba suggested that Kiev was amenable to a presidential election this year.
Monday in his address, Zelensky voiced his displeasure with Ukrainian citizens who speculated on the possibility of elections the following year, or on matters other than the withdrawal of the Russian military from Ukrainian territory.
“Now everyone should think about defending our country. We need to pull ourselves together, avoid unwinding and splitting up into disputes or other priorities,” Zelensky said, according to a translation by the Ukrainian state outlet Ukrinform.
“If there is no victory, there will be no country. Our victory is possible. It will come if we all focus on it. Not on politicking or searching for some personal interest. Not on disagreements that will do nothing for the country, defense, and our advancement.”
“Everyone should remember what is most important in Ukraine right now. The enemy is insane. And it is powerful. And it wants to destroy Ukraine, just as it has always wanted to,” the president emphasized.
On the issue of elections, Zelensky explicitly stated, “now is not the time for grand celebrations or other brazen things in the rear, which are unacceptable in times of war.”
“We all understand that now, in wartime, when there are so many challenges, it is absolutely irresponsible to throw the topic of elections into society in a lighthearted and playful way,” he continued.
“I believe that now is not the right time for elections,” he repeated later in his address.
“And if we need to put an end to a political dispute and continue to work in unity, there are structures in the state that are capable of putting an end to it and giving society all the necessary answers.”
According to an October study by Echelon Insights, former President Donald Trump is off to a dominating start in the Republican primary, holding a 50-point advantage over his GOP rivals.
Respondents were asked who they would vote for in a hypothetical Republican primary election happening today, as Breitbart News reported.
At this point, 62% of voters have chosen Trump as their candidate of choice. Not one individual comes close within striking distance, as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis comes in a distant second, 50 points behind with 12% support.
With 7% of the vote, former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley, whom Trump has called "Birdbrain," is in second place, five points behind DeSantis. Fourth place goes to Vivek Ramaswamy with 6% of the vote, followed by South Carolina Senator Tim Scott with 1%.
A hypothetical matchup between Trump and DeSantis was also included in the study, with 71% of respondents saying they would support Trump in this scenario, compared to 23% who said they would prefer DeSantis. Six percent have no idea what to do.
A total of 1,029 probable voters were surveyed from October 23rd through the 26th. It follows a string of polls showing Trump comfortably in the lead. The margin of error is +/- 4.1 points.
Both former Vice President Mike Pence and Miami Mayor Francis Suarez have already conceded the election without a single vote having been cast.
Meanwhile, Trump has continued to collect critical endorsements, most recently earning strong backing from Florida Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL), who urged the Republican party to rally behind Trump.
“It’s time for the Republican Party to come together, behind one candidate, and declare with one voice that we are united in our efforts to defeat Joe Biden and rescue America,” Scott wrote,
The lawmaker asserted that GOP voters have made their voice “loud and clear” that “they want to return to the leadership of Donald Trump.”
I’m proud to endorse @realDonaldTrump.
It’s time for the Republican Party to come together, behind one candidate, and declare with one voice that we are united in our efforts to defeat Joe Biden and rescue America.https://t.co/HtaAtG6Biu
— Rick Scott (@ScottforFlorida) November 2, 2023
Trump, on the other hand, thought it was "great honor" to have Scott's support.
Thank you, President Trump!
— Rick Scott (@ScottforFlorida) November 3, 2023
On Wednesday, the Republican Party will meet again, but Trump will be absent. According to a recent study conducted by McLaughlin & Associates, 74% of Republican supporters believe there should be no further discussions and instead want the GOP to rally around Trump and "fight Biden's political indictments."
DeSantis, meantime, is trying to build support before the debate by having Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds (R) endorse him at an event in Des Moines on Monday night.
Despite the Ukrainian Orthodox Church's claims that it is independent and supports Ukraine's war against Russian invaders, Ukraine's parliament overwhelmingly approved legislation Thursday banning the church over its ties to Moscow.
The proposal passed 267-15 in the Verkhovna Rada, or parliament, but it must be passed again before reaching President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, as Breitbart News reported.
The law would ban religious organizations “that are affiliated with the centers of influence of a religious organization, the management center of which is located outside of Ukraine in a state that carries out armed aggression against Ukraine.”
The law targets the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC), one of two rival Orthodox bodies in the nation, where most people are Orthodox.
UOC has historically been linked with the Moscow Patriarchate. It declared full independence from Moscow in May 2022, three months after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and has frequently pledged devotion and called its members to fight for Ukraine. Metropolitan Onufry, its head, declared this month that every believer must defend Ukraine as a “sacred duty.”
Zelensky Govt Demands Orthodox Church Leader Put Under House Arresthttps://t.co/Pc5NwF1Tkx
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) April 1, 2023
Many Ukrainians doubt the church has truly abandoned connections with Moscow Patriarch Kirill, who has hailed the war as a metaphysical struggle against Western liberalism.
Early this year, a government study contested the Ukrainian Orthodox Church's independence proclamation. After reviewing the UOC's governance documents, the State Service of Ukraine for Ethnopolitics and Freedom of Conscience confirmed that the church remains a structural entity of the Russian Orthodox Church.
Many MPs cheered Thursday as Verkhovna Rada chairman Ruslan Stefanchuk revealed the voting count. Stefanchuk declared the voting and asked MPs to “have faith in the Lord God and love Ukraine.”
Parliamentarian Inna Sovsun stated on Facebook that while this is a first reading, it is a historic move. My top priority is ending Russian Orthodox Church activities in Ukraine.”
The SBU reported earlier this month that it has initiated 68 criminal proceedings against UOC representatives since the war, charging them with treason, collaboration, aiding and abetting an aggressor country, public incitement to religious hatred, firearm sales, and child pornography. 19 UOC representatives with Russian passports who promoted pro-Kremlin war propaganda lost their Ukrainian citizenship, according to the SBU.
UOC leaders urged lawmakers to alter the Rada vote, which was preliminary. The church's legal department stated it breaches the constitution and European Convention on Human Rights' freedom of religion.
“It is certain that the adoption of this draft law will indicate that human rights and freedoms, for which our State also fights, are losing their meaning,” the church's legal department said.
The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople recognized the Orthodox Church of Ukraine as an independent church in 2019, but the UOC and Moscow contest his authority.
The stalemate at Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, a revered Orthodox monument in Kyiv, has continued as the government tries to expel Ukrainian Orthodox Church leaders. The huge structure, known as the Monastery of the Caves, has 1,000-year-old portions. At an Orthodox media ceremony, Patriarch Kirill attacked Ukraine's church policy.
“The children of our church (have) become objects of oppression and even bullying for the fact that they are bearers of centuries-old Russian culture, which is inseparable from the heritage of Russian statehood,” he said, according to the state-run news agency Tass.
“The so-called abolition of Russian culture, this shameless slander and unpunished destruction of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church are ways to oppose and quarrel those who are related to the single spiritual and cultural heritage created by the peoples of historical Rus.”
Lisa Lyon, a pioneering female bodybuilder, has passed away at the age of 70 following a fight with stomach cancer, as NY Daily News reported.
This came less than a week after TMZ reported that Lyon had recently been moved to hospice care, the Los Angeles native reportedly passed away on Friday at her home in San Fernando Valley, California.
Arnold Schwarzenegger, a competitor in the same sport, stated to the source that Lyon was "the best."
They once posed for a picture together, and in one of the shots, Lyon is seen carrying Arnold Schwarzenegger aloft on her shoulders.
She stood 5 feet, 4 inches tall and weighed only 120 pounds at the time, in comparison to Arnold Schwarzenegger's 225 pounds, which is reported to be the amount of weight she was capable of deadlifting.
Arnold Schwarzenegger sits on the shoulders of bodybuilder and future model in Playboy magazine Lisa Lyon . USA , 1979 pic.twitter.com/O1Wsr7gngj
— DrPopCulture (@DrPopCultureUSA) July 31, 2023
In 1979, Lyon was the only woman to win the Women's World Pro Bodybuilding Championship held by the International Federation of Bodybuilders.
The year after that, Lyon posed for Playboy magazine, showing off her abs. The weight lifter was also photographed by renowned photographer Robert Mapplethorpe in 1983 for an exhibition at a gallery in SoHo.
Even when Frank Miller was coming up with the concept for the Marvel Comics character Elektra, he looked to Lyon for the original spark of creativity.
In 1981, her book "Lisa Lyon's Body Magic," which was a manual for at-home bodybuilding, was made available to the public.
She also had a brief acting career, appearing in "Three Crowns of the Sailor" in 1983, the bodybuilding movie "Getting Physical" in 1984, and "Vamp" alongside Grace Jones in 1986. All three of which were released in the United States.
In recognition of her work in transforming bodybuilding into an art form, she was admitted into the International Fitness and Bodybuilding Federal Hall of Fame in the year 2000.
Lyon was remembered by many in and out of the industry on social media. "We join the bodybuilding world in mourning the passing of bodybuilding pioneer Lisa Lyon, who lost her battle with stomach cancer," said FitGems Nation.
We join the bodybuilding world in mourning the passing of bodybuilding pioneer Lisa Lyon, who lost her battle with stomach cancer today. She was 70. May she rest in peace. pic.twitter.com/wpazcwfec0
— FitGems Nation (@FitGemsNation) September 9, 2023
Many users called her a "pioneer of female bodybuilding," and others called her a "one of a kind."
Pennsylvania, The Keystone State, will no longer give money to pro-life therapy centers, even though it has done so for almost 30 years.
This week, Pennsylvania's Democratic Governor Josh Shapiro said that after almost 30 years, the bipartisan deal with the pro-life nonprofit Real Alternatives will end while he is in charge, according to a report by Fox News.
Pennsylvania, The Keystone State, will no longer give money to pro-life therapy centers, even though it has done so for almost 30 years.
This week, Pennsylvania's Democratic Governor Josh Shapiro said that after almost 30 years, the bipartisan deal with the pro-life nonprofit Real Alternatives will end while he is in charge.
Real Alternatives was hired in the 1990s by then-Gov. Bob Casey, Sr., a pro-life Democrat, when the Keystone State decided to pay for both abortion providers like Planned Parenthood and organizations that offer options to abortion.
Real Alternatives gives federal and state money to pro-life organizations like Catholic Charities, maternity homes, and therapy centers every year.
Last year, Real Alternatives gave almost $7 million to 70 pregnancy centers in Pennsylvania that support life.
In a release, the group said that 350,000 women from all over the state had come to its offices 1.9 million times.
Shapiro said in a statement that he strongly supported the right to an abortion and that his government would not "continue that pattern" of funding. Shapiro said, "We will ensure women in this Commonwealth receive the reproductive health care they deserve."
The director of the St. Margaret of Castello Maternity Home, Eileen Artysh, told The Associated Press that the center will not last as long because of the cut in funds.
Artysh said that most of the women who come to her nursing home are planning to have a baby.
"Until there’s that last penny left, I’m in this for the long haul," Artysh said. "And the moms that we help — I can’t imagine deserting any of them."
Governors of Pennsylvania, both Democrats and Republicans, have kept the deal in place for almost 30 years.
Shapiro's plan to stop giving money to pro-life therapy centers comes at a time when states all over the country are fighting over how to limit abortions.
A Texas judge ruled on Friday that the state's abortion ban is too hard on women who are having major problems with their pregnancies. The judge said that the law needs to make exceptions so that doctors don't have to worry about being charged with a crime.
State District Judge Jessica Mangrum's decision is the first to make a dent in Texas's abortion law since it went into effect last year. This is because Roe v. Wade was overturned by the Supreme Court, which gave states the right to make their own abortion laws.