The city of Baltimore is suing the owners of the cargo ship that caused the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse, alleging the container vessel was "unseaworthy" when it set sail on its fateful voyage.

In a lawsuit filed Monday, lawyers for the city blamed the owners and operators of the Dali for the disaster that killed six construction workers and shuttered one of the nation's busiest ports.

Lawsuit over bridge collapse

The Dali's owner, Singapore-based Grace Ocean Private Ltd., and its operator, Synergy Marine, have asked to limit liability to $43.6 million.

That figure doesn't capture the full scale of the damages caused by the bridge's collapse, the city says.

"For all intents and purposes, Petitioner's negligence caused them to destroy the Key Bridge, and single handedly destroy the Port of Baltimore, a source of jobs, municipal revenue and no small amount of pride for the city of Baltimore and its residents," the city said.

Thousands of ships had passed under the bridge each year without incident before the March 26 disaster, Baltimore noted, alleging the Dali's owners and crew were "incompetent" and "reckless."

“For more than four decades, cargo ships made thousands of trips every year under the Key Bridge without incident,” the city alleges. “There was nothing about March 26, 2024 that should have changed that.”

Fallout from bridge disaster continues

The bridge collapsed when the ship reportedly lost power and crashed into one of the bridge's support columns. The mostly Indian crew was not trained properly and was "inattentive to its duties," Baltimore said, alleging there were clear problems with the power supply before the ship left port.

"Reporting has indicated that, even before leaving port, alarms showing inconsistent power supply on the Dali had sounded," the city alleged. "The Dali left port anyways despite its clearly unseaworthy condition."

A month later, the cleanup continues, the port has yet to reopen, and the FBI is pursuing a criminal probe.

Investigators are interviewing the ship's crew members, who all survived, about what they knew before the crash.

“The FBI is present aboard the cargo ship Dali conducting court authorized law enforcement activity,” the agency said in a statement.

Rebuilding the bridge could cost nearly half a billion dollars, and construction could take years to complete.

Celebrity lawyer Alan Dershowitz warned that Democrats want Donald Trump "killed" after they floated a bill to strip convicted felons of Secret Service protection.

The DISGRACED Act, introduced by former January 6th committee chairman Bennie Thompson (Ms.), is clearly aimed at Trump as he faces his first criminal trial in New York.

Stripping Trump of Secret Service would raise the penalty of a guilty verdict to an extra-judicial death sentence, Dershowitz noted in an interview with Newsmax. 

Dems eye DEATH SENTENCE?

Under current law, Secret Service would continue to protect Trump if he were ordered to prison.

Thompson introduced the DISGRACED Act— which has eight Democratic co-sponsors - arguing it would ensure the "equal administration of justice" by removing "logistical difficulties" if Trump is jailed.

Dershowitz said he is skeptical that judge Juan Merchan would go so far as to jail Trump, but if he did, it would be an effective death sentence without Secret Service protection.

"That's ridiculous, that means they want him killed because he's obviously a target," he said of Thompson's bill.

"We live in an age where everybody is in danger," he added. "Look, Bobby Kennedy ought to be getting Secret Service protection, but certainly Donald Trump needs to get Secret Service protection. He's not going to jail, but if he goes to jail obviously the law requires Secret Service protection."

Just a coincidence?

Thompson's bill would strip individuals convicted of either state or federal felonies of Secret Service protection - which means Trump's state felony charges for "hush money" would be included.

The DISGRACED Act was obviously written with one person in mind, but Thompson insists it is just a coincidence that the bill "happens to include" Trump, who is facing a mix of state and federal charges across four criminal cases.

He's pleaded not guilty to all charges.

The Secret Service has already begun planning for the possibility of Trump being jailed for violating his gag order, ABC reported, as prosecutors push Merchan to hold Trump in contempt.

Dershowitz predicted Trump is "not going to jail" because it would backfire on Democrats.

"The judge is going to bluff, fine and threat, but he's not going to throw Donald Trump in jail. That would be a guaranteed victory...I don't think it's going to happen," he said.

Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) would overcome backlash from within his party and "survive" a motion to kick him out of his job, Republican Tony Gonzalez (R-Tx.) predicted.

“He will survive. Look, the house is a rough and rowdy place, but Mike Johnson is going to be just fine,” Gonzales told CNN.

Johnson angered some in his party by joining forces with Democrats to pass a $95 billion foreign aid package for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan.

The bill passed with support from most Republicans and without any guarantees to secure the southern border, an issue Johnson had linked with foreign aid for months before changing direction.

A handful of Republicans, led by Marjorie Taylor Greene (Ga.), have threatened to trigger a "motion to vacate," calling Johnson a turncoat.

Mike Johnson 'safe'

Tony Gonzalez, a moderate who has been targeted by the party's right flank, asserted that Johnson will hold onto his job despite pressure from "scumbags" within the party.

“I served 20 years in the military. It’s my absolute honor to be in Congress, but I serve with some real scumbags,” he added.

While Republicans are divided over Johnson, it is the Democrats who will decide his fate by either coming to his rescue or working with hardline Republicans to oust him.

Democrats are relishing their position, but they do not appear ready to vote for Johnson's removal after he helped pass aid to Ukraine, a major priority of President Biden's.

Democrat Ro Khanna (Ca.) told ABC's This Week that Johnson "did the right thing here and he deserves to keep his job to the end of this term.”

Greene doubles down

Whether Johnson is removed or not, disillusioned Republicans say he has effectively relinquished control to Democrats already by compromising repeatedly on key issues. Greene doubled down on the removal threats in an interview with Fox News' Sunday Morning Futures, asserting that Johnson's Speakership is "over."

"Mike Johnson’s Speakership is over. He needs to do the right thing to resign and allow us to move forward in a controlled process, and if he doesn’t do so, he will be vacated,” she said.

"[Johnson] has completely betrayed Republican voters all over the country, and he is absolutely working for the Democrats."

For his part, Johnson has dismissed Greene's threats as nothing but noise. The country will soon find out who is right.

It's not only in the United States where one can be physically assaulted for their political beliefs -- especially conservatives. 

According to Breitbart, a populist political activist in France was assaulted over the weekend in the latest evidence of conservative activists and politicians facing increasing threats of attacks from violent, radical leftists.

The young populist activist was reportedly assaulted by a group of leftists when they discovered who he was and what his beliefs were.

In true leftist fashion, they reportedly screamed "fascist" and "Nazi" at him during the unprovoked, violent attack.

Who is he?

The victim was 24-year-old Stanislas Rigault, president of the youth movement of Éric Zemmour’s Reconquête! (Reconquest) anti-mass migration party.

Rigault noted that he had to file a police report after the attack, which occurred while he was awaiting a taxi "in the 14th arrondissement of the French capital on Friday evening."

🔴📢 Plein soutien à @stanislasrig, lâchement agressé par un groupe de 7 à 8 nervis d'extrême-gauche.

➡️ La violence n'a pas sa place en démocratie.

➡️ Les opposants politiques vont-ils lui envoyer un message de soutien ?#VotezMarion #Reconquete #StanislasRigault #Paris pic.twitter.com/8eoCLfeuVl

— Marine Chiaberto (@ChiabertoMarine) April 20, 2024

The victim described to a local newspaper what had happened, saying, "They started to push me, to tell us that we had nothing to do there."

He went on to provide details, including a female attacker who began to shove him during the attack. "I push her away and at that moment, she spits on me," Rigault recalled.

Police have still not been able to identify the group of attackers, though an investigation remains ongoing.

Not the first time

Attacks on populist activists and politicians is not a new concept for Europe. This was just the latest attack on that specific group.

Breitbart noted:

It is not the first time the populist party has faced political violence, with Reconquête! leader and former presidential candidate Éric Zemmour was injured in 2021 during a campaign rally which saw 39 Atifa radicals arrested, some of whom were armed with Molotov cocktails and “bottles of acid”.

Several others with the same political ideology across Europe, and several instances specifically in Germany, have been attacked by Antifa and similar violent leftist groups.

Sadly, these kinds of attacks will only continue to increase, as there isn't much in the way of consequences for the attackers when they're caught, or if they're ever caught.

Failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and her supporters still believe former President Donald Trump's hero is Russian President Vladimir Putin. 

According to the Daily Caller, Clinton once again admitted as such in a bizarre podcast audio clip.

Clinton claimed that because Trump wants to model himself after Putin, he'd also like to commit Putin-like atrocities, such as imprisoning and killing his political opposition.

"That's what Trump really wants," Clinton said during an interview on the "Democracy Docket" podcast.

What did she say?

Clinton, in the unhinged interview, held nothing back as she described how she thinks Trump is essentially Putin's twin political brother.

"Putin does what [Trump] would like to do," Clinton said.

Just going to leave this right here . . .

Hillary Clinton: 'What Trump really wants' is to 'kill his opposition'

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that former President Trump aspires to be like Russian President Vladimir Putin. https://t.co/i4L5lu9wl4

— Libertas🇻🇦 🇺🇸🗽⚕️ (@Libertas3127) April 20, 2024

She added, "Kill his opposition, imprison his opposition, drive journalists into exile, rule without any check or balance. That’s what Trump really wants. And so we have to be very conscious of how he sees the world because in that world, he only sees strong men leaders."

Clinton slipped in several other world dictators to use for comparisons to Trump.

"He sees Putin, he sees Xi, he sees Kim Jong Un in North Korea. Those are the people he is modeling himself after and we’ve been down this road in our, you know, world history. We sure don’t want to go down that again."

Fearmongering for 2024

The latest fearmongering tactic deployed by Democrats is pushing the narrative that Trump is a "dictator" and that America is in grave danger should he win the White House in November.

"My view, having negotiated with Putin, and knowing one of the reasons he went after me is because he knew I would deal with him in an appropriate way, and Trump would basically do whatever he wanted, it’s really important to think about what could happen to our world with Trump back in the White House," Clinton said.

She also said it's a "very scary prospect" should Trump take the White House as he would not support Ukraine like America is currently supporting it.

Clinton's words, along with her fellow Democrats, only prove that they're worried sick about Trump's high chance of winning in November and they'll say and do whatever they can to try and prevent that from happening.

 

The judge overseeing the hush money case against former President Donald Trump recently made a NUCLEAR decision.

He ordered the press not to report descriptions of jurors.

Multiple reports have said that the judge has decided that America's media isn't even allowed to release physical details about the jurors, and asked reporters, writers, and the rest of the news world to "apply common sense" when reporting on Donald Trump's case.

"There’s a reason why this is an anonymous jury, and we’ve taken the measures we have taken," Judge Juan Merchan said. "It kind of defeats the purpose of that when so much information is put out there."

Merchan made the announcement after one of the seven selected jurors came forward with concerns about her ability to be impartial, saying that friends and colleagues were already asking her if she was on the jury because of press reports.

"I don’t believe, at this point, that I can be fair and unbiased and let the outside influences not affect my thinking in the courtroom," the juror told Judge Juan Merchan.

In March, Merchan had decided that the jury should remain anonymous.

This whole case began way back when Democratic Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg indicted Donald Trump last April on 34 felony accounts for allegedly falsifying business records regarding hush money payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels in the time preceding the 2016.

Donald's reputation took another blow related to this one when the prosecution brought up a woman by the name of MacDougal, who claims to have had an affair with Donald Trump while his wife, Melania Trump, was pregnant with their son, Barron Trump.

MacDougal is being brought in by prosecution against Donald Trump as a character witness to prove that Trump has a history of this sort of behavior.

Donald Trump's reputation seems relatively intact for now, as most Americans support him based on his ability to get things done, not based on his romantic exploits.

It's hard not to wonder about Juan Merchan's decisions in this case. According to Donald Trump himself, Juan Merchan is a "certified Trump hater."

What do you think about this story?

Was Judge Juan Merchan's order reasonable?

Will the jurors in the trial ever have the ability to stay impartial?

Could Donald Trump eventually defeat this case and end up in the White House?

Let us know your opinion by leaving us a comment in the discussion section below!

House Speaker Mike Johnson's (R-LA) sudden push to support Ukraine has led to backlash from Republicans who say he is breaking a pledge to focus on America's domestic priorities.

A report in Breitbart found that Johnson's top policy staffer, Dan Ziegler, is a former lobbyist for corporations that have interests tied to Ukraine.

For months, Johnson tied foreign aid for Ukraine with border security, but he has untangled the two issues under mounting pressure from Republican hawks and the White House.

The Speaker is pushing for a vote Saturday on a $95 billion, multi-part foreign aid bill that has won backing from President Biden.

Why did Mike Johnson flip?

Sources credited Johnson's shift to the influence of Dan Ziegler and Josh Hodges, Johnson's national security adviser.

"Mike used to vote differently. What changed? Who’s he talking to now? That’s Ziegler and Hodges,” an anonymous source told Breitbart. 

Ziegler previously worked for Johnson when he chaired the Republican Study Committee and returned to Johnson's payroll when he won the Speaker's gavel.

In the interim, Ziegler was a lobbyist at Williams & Jensen. The firm's clients include pharmaceutical giants like Pfizer, Merck, and Eli Lilly, as well as big financial firms like Vanguard and Visa.

Another client was Bloom Energy, a California fuel cell company that received $75 million in Biden tax credits. The company has a direct stake in the conflict in Ukraine, which has benefited the Western "clean energy" industry.

Johnson's pivot

With a handful of Republicans threatening to oust him, Johnson said this week that he would be willing to jeopardize his job to pass foreign aid for Ukraine - after he spent months blocking it.

The Speaker spoke in lofty terms, saying, "history judges us for what we do."

Despite Johnson's soaring rhetoric, the actual reasons for his change of heart appear to be more calculated. The proof may be in Joe Biden's glowing endorsement of Johnson's foreign aid bill.

"I will sign this into law immediately to send a message to the world: we stand with our friends, and we won't let Iran or Russia succeed," Biden said.

It remains to be seen whether Johnson will actually lose his job, but in the eyes of many, Johnson has already been compromised by politics.

The judge overseeing Donald Trump's "hush money" trial in New York is a supporter of Trump's electoral rival, Joe Biden. 

A lawyer for Trump blasted the "extremely improper" connection during an interview with Breitbart. 

"Let’s remember that Judge Merchan is a Biden donor. Let’s remember that his family has a vested financial interest in this case, or … the fact that the case is ongoing," lawyer Josh Binnall said.

"They’re going to try to drag this case out I think as long as possible in order to affect the presidential election."

Trump trial judge tied to Biden

Judges in New York are prohibited from donating to political candidates, but this rule did nothing to stop Juan Merchan from sending $15 to Joe Biden's 2020 campaign.

Merchan also sent $10 to Progressive Turnout Project and Stop Republicans. Perhaps more concerning, his daughter runs a left-wing consulting firm, Authentic Campaigns, that has worked for Biden's 2020 campaign.

Despite clear indications of a conflict, Merchan has declined to recuse himself. Trump lawyer Josh Binnall questioned Merchan's motives for staying on the case despite the damage his role is likely to cause in public trust. Merchan "wants to be on the case so badly" that he doesn't seem to care about the impact of his decision on the justice system.

"He’s putting our entire judicial system really into jeopardy by his failure to simply obey the canons of judicial conduct,” Binnall said.

Judge refuses to step aside

The consulting firm that Merchan's daughter runs has raised millions of dollars off of Trump's trial, Binnall added.

“And so it’s something that his family member as a direct … moneyed interest in, and again, something that is, at the very least shows the appearance of impropriety here,” Binnall added.

Merchan has said he has no financial stake riding on the case, dismissing Trump's claims of a conflict as "speculative and hypothetical."

As jury selection got underway this week, Judge Merchan admonished Trump from the bench for talking out of turn.

"Your client was audibly uttering something," Merchan said. "I won’t tolerate that. I will not have any jurors intimidated in this courtroom. I want to make that crystal clear."

The judge has left the door open to having Trump sit for the trial during his son Barron Trump's high school graduation.

The White House is pressuring Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) to hurry up and unblock foreign aid to Ukraine - and potentially put his job at risk by crossing a red line for House Republicans who accuse him of failing to put "America First." 

Biden spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said Johnson "has to move quickly" as he stares down a threat of removal from pro-Trump hardliner Marjorie Taylor Greene (Ga.).

Mike Johnson CAVES

Republican voters, and a vocal minority of GOP lawmakers, have objected to continued support for Ukraine without a solution to the crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Greene has threatened to trigger a "motion to vacate" if Johnson moves to support Ukraine. A second Republican, isolationist Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), joined Greene's push on Tuesday.

But Johnson's narrow Republican majority has given Democrats leverage to squeeze him for concessions.

They are offering tentatively to help him keep his job if he unlocks foreign aid money, which he now appears inclined to do.

Johnson has reportedly split up a $95 billion foreign aid bill into separate pieces on Ukraine, Taiwan, and Israel. The White House has pushed for a single bill bundling those priorities together, but top spokesman John Kirby sounded cautiously supportive of Johnson's idea on Tuesday.

“It does appear at first blush that the Speaker’s proposal will in fact help us get aid to Ukraine, aid to Israel and needed resources to the Indo-Pacific for a wide range of contingencies there. At first blush it looks like that, we just want to get more details,” he added.

Moment of truth

Johnson's plan untethers foreign aid from border security, a reversal after Johnson spent months tying the two issues together.

While Greene has blasted Johnson as a sellout, he has accused Greene of hurting the GOP and President Trump's electoral prospects by dividing the party.

"I am not resigning," Johnson said Tuesday. "And it is, in my view, an absurd notion that someone would bring a vacate motion when we are simply here trying to do our jobs."

Johnson did not share the details of his foreign aid plan with President Trump when they met at Mar-A-Lago last week in a show of unity, ABC reported.

As a result, Trump's team was blindsided when Johnson claimed they were "100%" on the same page in a Fox News interview Sunday.

Johnson's team later said that the Speaker and Johnson are not "fully aligned on ... every piece of any legislation."

Donald Trump lawyer Evan Corcoran has reportedly quit the former president's legal team. 

The development is potentially significant because Corcoran is considered a key witness in Jack Smith's classified documents case against Trump in Florida.

Corcoran was no longer part of Trump's legal defense in that case, but he was helping Trump with his other legal matters, which he has dismissed as one coordinated "witch hunt."

Trump lawyer quits?

The Trump campaign promptly dismissed the reports of Corcoran's departure, which first broke through CNN, as misleading.

Corcoran "remains on the legal team and is continuing to help fighting the Biden Trial witch-hunts," Trump spokesman Steve Cheung said, adding, "Any assertion otherwise is fake news peddled by uninformed sources and untruthful reporting that seeks to leak disinformation and misinformation."

Smith accuses Trump of tricking Corcoran as part of an effort to illegally hoard classified documents, which were retrieved in a shocking FBI raid at Mar-A-Lago.

Corcoran was compelled last year to hand over his notes and testify to a grand jury in Washington D.C., where Smith began his investigation before the case was moved to Florida.

A judge in D.C. ruled that attorney-client privilege did not shield Corcoran from testifying under the "crime-fraud exception."

Documents case up in the air

The classified documents case has yet to receive a firm trial date, owing to the complexity of the case, which involves multiple defendants, highly sensitive documents and unprecedented legal questions about presidential power.

The Trump-appointed judge overseeing it, Aileen Cannon, has faced furious liberal backlash and accusations of steering things in Trump's favor, despite rejecting Trump's efforts to dismiss the charges.

Trump is in New York this week for the beginning of his "hush money" trial, which is seen as comparatively much less serious.

The presumptive Republican presidential nominee has cited the conflicting court obligations in New York to push for a delay in the documents case, which one of four criminal cases he is facing.

"President Trump has a constitutional right to be present at the trial in New York and, as a result, cannot participate in this work relating to important parts of his defense," Trump's attorneys wrote to Cannon.

Smith has pushed furiously for a quick trial, leading Trump to accuse the prosecutor of election interference.

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