Trump adviser on Hogan’s verdict remarks: You just ended your campaign

The Hill

Trump adviser on Hogan’s verdict remarks: You just ended your campaign

Filip Timotija – May 30, 2024

Trump adviser on Hogan’s verdict remarks: You just ended your campaign

Former President Trump’s adviser Chris LaCivita said that former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R), who is running to become one of the state’s next senators, has just ended his campaign with remarks he shared in the lead-up to the decision in the former president’s hush money case.

Minutes before Trump, the Republican presumptive nominee, was found guilty on all 34 felony counts in the Manhattan hush-money case, Hogan shared a Thursday post on the social media platform X, saying that “regardless” of the outcome, Americans should respect the legal “process” and the verdict.

Larry Hogan, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Maryland, arrives at the polling place at Davidsonville Elementary School to cast his ballot in the state primary election on May 14, 2024 in Davidsonville, Maryland. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Larry Hogan, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Maryland, arrives at the polling place at Davidsonville Elementary School to cast his ballot in the state primary election on May 14, 2024 in Davidsonville, Maryland. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

“At this dangerously divided moment in our history, all leaders—regardless of party—must not pour fuel on the fire with more toxic partisanship,” Hogan said. “We must reaffirm what has made this nation great: the rule of law.”

In a little more than an hour, LaCivita, a veteran consultant, who has been overseeing day-to-day operations of the Republican National Committee (RNC) since March, fired back at the former governor, saying “You just ended your campaign.”

Hogan, a frequent Trump critic, is looking to become the first GOP politician to win a seat in Maryland, a blue-leaning state where he served as governor for two consecutive terms.

The moderate Republican, who launched his Senate bid in February, said in March that he would not vote for Trump or for President Biden in 2024.

Hogan is looking to build a diverse coalition of voters as he tries to win the race in November while also stressing that neither Republicans nor Democrats in the upper chamber can count on his vote, showcasing his commitment to being an independent voter.

Hogan won the Maryland GOP primary in May and will square off against Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks, who beat Rep. David Trone (Md.) in the Democratic primary.

Time Magazine Literally Brings The Gavel Down On Donald Trump In Brutal New Cover


Time Magazine Literally Brings The Gavel Down On Donald Trump In Brutal New Cover

Lee Moran – May 31, 2024

Donald Trump: Guilty

Time magazine wasted little, well, time in showing off a future front page following former President Donald Trump’s hush money trial conviction on Thursday.

The publication posted its June 24 edition cover — featuring a new illustration by Cuban-American artist Edel Rodriguez — several weeks early on X, formerly Twitter.

Time’s new cover: Donald Trump found guilty on all counts. The image showed a gavel being brought down on a sound block, which itself is an abstract interpretation of the preemptive GOP presidential nominee’s face:

TIME's new cover: Donald Trump found guilty on all counts

Rodriguez has mockingly portrayed Trump for the outlet on multiple previous occasions, showing the convicted ex-POTUS as literally melting down, as a peach during his first impeachment for extorting Ukraine and as a wrecking ball dismantling government.

In 2018, Rodriguez marked Trump’s first year in office with this illustration of the then-president’s hair as fire:

He also tackled Trump’s disastrous handling of the coronavirus pandemic with this picture of him and a misplaced face mask:


For Germany’s Der Spiegel, meanwhile, Rodriguez has illustrated Trump as a Statue of Liberty-decapitating lunatic, an asteroid headed for Earth and as wearing a Klu Klux Klan hood.

Rodriguez, who fled Cuba for America as a child, told HuffPost in 2017 that his antipathy toward Trump stemmed from growing up under a brutal dictatorship on the Caribbean islad.

Guilty Trump’s press conference was a disaster. Republicans need to replace him – fast.

USA Today – Opinion

Guilty Trump’s press conference was a disaster. Republicans need to replace him – fast.

Rex Huppke – May 31, 2024

Felon Donald Trump arose glassy-eyed from his crypt of self-pity Friday morning to remind Americans he’s not just the first convicted criminal to run for president – he’s also a rambling, incoherent mess.

Speaking of his conviction on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records to cloak a hush-money payment to former adult-film star Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 election, Trump babbled at reporters who had gathered inside Trump Tower in Manhattan.

“Crimes crimes, they’s falsifying business records,” he said, looking exhausted and more half-crazed than usual. “That sounds so bad, to me it sounds very bad, You know it’s only a misdemeanor (FACT CHECK: These were felony counts) but to me it sounds so bad, when they say falsifying business records, that’s a bad thing for me, I’ve never had that before. Im falsifying … you know what falsifying business records is, in the first degree, they say falsifying business records, sounds so good, right?”

Uhhh … sure?

Trump’s post-conviction press conference was a babbling mess

The man some actually believe is qualified to be president of the United States also claimed witnesses in his trial were “literally crucified,” said President Joe Biden wants to “stop you from having cars” and said the judge who will sentence him on July 11 is “really a devil.”

Trump is now a convicted felon. Democrats, don’t let voters forget it.

Trump could have testified in his own defense but didn’t, and the excuse he offered was a random assortment of words that went nowhere then veered into an entirely different subject: “I would have loved to have testified, to this day I would’ve liked to have testified, but you would have said something out of whack like it was beautiful sunny day and it was actually raining out, and I very much appreciate the big crowd of people outside, that’s incredible what’s happening, the level of support has been incredible.”

People react moments after news that former President Donald Trump was found guilty in his trial on hush-money payments in Manhattan Criminal Court on May 30, 2024 in New York City. The former president was found guilty on all 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in the first of his criminal cases to go to trial.
People react moments after news that former President Donald Trump was found guilty in his trial on hush-money payments in Manhattan Criminal Court on May 30, 2024 in New York City. The former president was found guilty on all 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in the first of his criminal cases to go to trial.

Yes, incredible. Or as the Washington Post reported as Trump was speaking: “There are perhaps a few dozen supporters outside but no organized demonstration of any magnitude. It’s mostly gawkers and normal Fifth Avenue traffic in Manhattan.

Trump as ‘a steady hand’? Now THAT’S funny!

Look, I’m no political strategist, but I’m not sure putting the presidential candidate who was just convicted on 34 felony counts in front of cameras to ramble like the drunk at the end of the bar for more than 30 minutes was a fantastic idea. Trump’s disjointed gurgling delivered several “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida”-length ads for Democrats to use in the months ahead.

Before Trump spoke, one of his Republican enablers, Rep. Wesley Hunt, let Fox News know what Americans would be hearing from the former president: “We’re going to hear a steady hand. We’re going to hear the voice of a father and a grandfather. We’re going to hear a voice of the future president of this country telling us that it’s going to be okay.”

HAH! Well that sure didn’t happen. We instead heard a dyspeptic chinchilla with anger issues hollering nonsensically.

Presidential polls are useless. Will Trump win? Will Biden? Nobody has a crystal ball.

Republicans really need to consider their options. Trump is a wreck.

Republicans are still adjusting to the new normal of having a convicted felon at the top of their ticket. They’re trying to rally around their twice-impeached, multi-indicted, found-liable-of-sexual-abuse, incapable-of-ever-shutting-up guy. But seeing Trump’s performance Friday and knowing his already erratic rhetoric has worsened with each visit from accountability, maybe it’s time Republican rethink the “presidential candidate” thing.

Off in a quiet corner somewhere sits Nikki Haley, a sane-by-comparison person who was a presidential candidate and would probably be happy to become one again. Perhaps a swap is in order?

Liberals keep saying Biden should be replaced, but what about Trump?

There are people on the left who look at poll numbers and scream, “WE MUST REPLACE JOE BIDEN ON THE PRESIDENTIAL TICKET BECAUSE WE NEED SOMEONE YOUNGER!”

Trump is a convicted felon who does nothing but angrily gripe about grievance after grievance in a way only the most loyal MAGA believers could possibly understand. He’s spiraling like a real-life Gollum from “Lord of the Rings,” obsessed with precious vengeance the way Gollum slimily hungered for the One Ring.

So where are the calls on the right to replace the 77-year-old felon who can’t talk straight with a newer, less legally encumbered version?

Face it, Republicans. The cheese has slid off Trump’s cracker, and it ain’t coming back. Friday was a preview of coming distractions for your party. Either get right or buckle up.

Fox News and right-wing media have already decided the Trump trial verdict


Fox News and right-wing media have already decided the Trump trial verdict

Analysis by Oliver Darcy, CNN – May 30, 2024

Charly Triballeau/Pool via AP

Editor’s Note: A version of this article first appeared in the “Reliable Sources” newsletter. 

The jury might still be deliberating, but Donald Trump’s media allies have already delivered a verdict to their audiences

Throughout the duration of the Manhattan hush-money trial, Fox News and the rest of MAGA Media have set the stage to absolve Trump in the historic case. Day after day, week after week, popular personalities such as Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, and Steve Bannon have lampooned the judicial system, portraying Trump as an innocent victim of political persecution.

Inside this alternate media universe, the actual facts of the case never penetrate the bubble that shields its audiences from detrimental developments for Trump. Instead, alternate dishonest storylines are disseminated as the gospel truth.

Not only is Trump entirely innocent of any and all wrongdoing in the MAGA Media world, but President Joe Biden is guilty of nefariously weaponizing government to wage “lawfare” on his political opponent. Audiences are told that Biden cannot win a fair fight with Trump, so he has resorted to illegal “election interference” by rigging the judicial system against Trump.

It goes without saying that these narratives are built on foundations of lies and innuendo that do not hold water. Biden does not control the judicial system. The hush-money case is taking place in New York state court with charges brought by the Manhattan district attorney. And it isn’t Trump’s left-wing enemies who have been making headlines testifying against the GOP candidate in the case, it’s his former allies, such as one-time fixer Michael Cohen and former National Enquirer boss David Pecker.

Nevertheless, millions consuming right-wing media have been fed these deceptive storylines, impacting how voters perceive current events and, more importantly, cast their ballots. In the Republican Party, voters absorb their information from outlets like Fox News, which has dishonestly run defense for Trump over the course of the trial.

“WHERE’S THE CRIME?” demanded a banner on Ingraham’s prime time show Wednesday along with a graphic showing images of Biden, Judge Juan Merchan, and Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg “THE REAL FRAUDS.”

In the following hour, Jesse Watters accused Merchan in an on-screen graphic of “LEADING THE JURY” and intimated how “very fishy” it was that a “stop Trump” judge was selected to preside over the case.

The progressive Media Matters said in a study published this week that Fox News has leveled at least 200 attacks on Merchan alone since the trial commenced — a staggering number that does not include the attacks on others associated with the case. And the study only accounted for Fox News, not the host of other entities that make up the right-wing media universe.

It can be tempting to ignore the torrent of attacks Trump’s media allies are launching in their unrelenting efforts to undermine the case. But those forces are shaping how a large swath of the country understands the high-stakes and unprecedented trial taking place in lower Manhattan. And they’re a reminder that if Trump were to return to power, he has a powerful propaganda apparatus at his disposal that will do everything in its power to sanitize his actions — whatever they may be.

Who is Juan Merchan, the judge in Trump’s criminal hush-money trial?

The Guardian

Who is Juan Merchan, the judge in Trump’s criminal hush-money trial?

Victoria Bekiempis in New York – May 29, 2024

<span>Juan Merchan in his chambers in New York on 14 March 2024. </span><span>Photograph: Seth Wenig/AP</span>
Juan Merchan in his chambers in New York on 14 March 2024. Photograph: Seth Wenig/AP

When a verdict comes down in Donald Trump’s criminal hush-money trial, all eyes will be on the Manhattan judge Juan Merchan, who has presided over the historic case.

After all, Trump was the first US president, former or present, to face a criminal trial. And before Trump faced a jury in this case, Merchan oversaw other proceedings directly tied to the presumptive GOP presidential candidate.

Those cases included the tax-fraud trial against the Trump Organization and proceedings against the former company CFO Allen Weisselberg. Merchan also will preside over the case against Steve Bannon over allegations that the far-right Trump strategist cheated thousands who donated to build sections of a US-Mexico border wall, scheduled for trial in September.

Related: A ‘catch-and-kill’ scheme and Trump’s pyjamas: key moments from the hush-money trial

Merchan, who was born in Bogotá, Colombia, and immigrated to the US at age six, grew up in the New York City borough of Queens. The first in his family to attend college, he started working at nine and held a variety of jobs, such as hotel night manager, during his studies, according to the New York Times.

Merchan’s past high-profile cases have included proceedings against the “soccer-mom madam” Anna Gristina. He also presides over Manhattan mental health court, where participating defendants agree to undergo closely tracked treatment with the goal of having their cases dismissed, avoiding future encounters with the justice system and finding their footing, the Associated Press said.

While outside observers might think that Merchan is in a no-win position compared with his other cases, legal veterans have praised his handling of the proceedings, noting how he has fostered normality.

“His job is to [oversee] cases, criminal cases, civil cases, whatever cases that come before him, and to treat each one in an impartial manner and I think he’s just trying to do that,” said Shira Scheindlin, a former Manhattan federal court judge who presided over the watershed stop-and-frisk case and is now with the law firm Boies Schiller Flexner.

“It’s high-profile. It’s a little more stressful. I’m sure to have that, to have a former president sitting there in front of you every day, and all the people that former president was bringing with him – he’s been bringing congressmen and senators and governors and whatever, with him,” Scheindlin said.

“So, it’s a little more stressful to see all those people in your courtroom, but it’s not an impossible position. He’s a very experienced judge, and he’s been doing what he knows how to do for 18 years, which is to run a tight ship.”

“Judge Merchan works very hard to not have his courtroom bogged down in distractions and optics and antics … Merchan presided over this trial in the fairest, most efficient and least dramatic way possible,” said Ron Kuby, a veteran defense attorney with a focus on civil rights.

“With his opinions, he has always been a careful and thoughtful jurist, and in the Trump case, every time he had the time to consider a legal issue, he considered it thoroughly and usually wrote an opinion about it, explaining his reasoning and the law supporting the outcome.”

The extraordinary circumstances that Merchan has had to navigate with Trump’s trial have been intensified due to the ex-president’s behavior. Trump repeatedly railed against trial witnesses, prompting Merchan to impose a gag order barring him from doing so.

Merchan expanded the gag order to include court staffers’ families and jurors, as well as prosecutors in the case, after Trump went on the attack against the judge’s daughter. This order did not prohibit Trump from making comments about Merchan, nor the district attorney, Alvin Bragg.

Trump couldn’t help himself, however, and continued to slam trial witnesses and comment on jurors. Merchan held Trump in contempt 10 times, fining him $10,000, and threatened him with jail if he continued to run afoul of his ruling.

Merchan also had to go on the defensive against claims by Trump that had the potential to spur unrest; the candidate’s unsubstantiated allegations about Joe Biden stealing the 2021 election, for example, had prompted the deadly January 6 Capitol attack.

When Trump simply falsely claimed that Merchan had banned him from testifying in his own defense, the judge went on record to clarify this wasn’t the case. “I want to stress, Mr Trump, that you have an absolute right to testify at trial,” Merchan said. “The order prohibiting extrajudicial statements does not prevent you from testifying in any way.”

Neama Rahmani, president of West Coast Trial Lawyers and a former federal prosecutor, noted Merchan’s handling of the gag order in praising the judge.

“I thought he’s done a good job because it’s a very difficult case with a very difficult defendant,” Rahmani said. “I don’t think there was any way he was going to jail Donald Trump for the gag order but he had to try to get him in line – and ultimately, he was able to get him somewhat controlled.”

Trump has repeatedly cast Merchan as biased against him, saying as he left court on 21 May, for example, that “the judge hates Donald Trump. Just take a look. Take a look at him. Take a look at where he comes from. He can’t stand Donald Trump. He’s doing everything in his power.”

Trump also said in an 11-minute courthouse hallway rant: “They’re already cheating on the election with this. And you don’t know what’s happening because the judge is so biased, so corrupt. He’s so corrupt and he’s so conflicted that you never know how these things … a corrupt judge will far surpass a great case for us.”

Jeffrey Lichtman, a longtime criminal defense attorney whose high-profile clientele has included El Chapo, expressed mixed feelings on Merchan’s handling of the case. He spoke positively of Merchan allowing the defense to extensively question Michael Cohen, Trump’s former fixer-turned-top prosecution witness. But he also saw shortcomings.

“I thought that for the most part he was fair, more fair than I’d expected,” Lichtman said of allowing Cohen’s lengthy cross-examination. “I think that as a defense lawyer, you want to have a judge let you have your way with the main cooperator in the case without being stopped.

“With regard to the entire case, I thought that he’s been thin-skinned,” Lichtman said. He pointed to Merchan’s admonition of Robert Costello, an attorney and defense witness in Trump’s orbit, whose behavior the judge described as “contemptuous” in a closed proceeding: “I thought that his handling of Costello was, frankly, an embarrassment to the court.”

Lichtman did not agree that Trump was getting short shrift because he was Trump.

“What people don’t realize: they think that Donald Trump is being treated unfairly because he’s Donald Trump,” Lichtman said. “Every defendant in criminal cases in most courtrooms in New York, federal and state, get the short end of the stick in terms of fairness, in terms of trial rulings.”

The more high-profile the case, Lichtman said, the more this happens, saying: “We’re in a constant uphill battle to get anything we consider to be a fair break from the judge.”

Merchan’s handling of the media has also prompted criticism among the press, who have cited access issues. For several days, Merchan barred photographers from photographing Trump, with court officials alleging, without evidence, that one had taken a photo outside a designated area.

And, after Merchan started to address Costello’s outbursts, he ordered court officers to “clear the courtroom”, kicking out the press and refusing to give a media attorney an opportunity to address him about the access issue.

The US constitution, as well as New York state and common law, stipulates that there is a presumption of access in court proceedings, meaning they are supposed to be open to the press and public, save for extremely rare circumstances.

Merchan offered circular reasoning for his decision to clear the courtroom: that he had to clear the courtroom knowing that he would have trouble clearing the courtroom.

“The fact that I had to clear the courtroom and that the court officers, including the captain, had great difficulty clearing the courtroom, and that there was argument back and forth between the press and including counsel for the press, goes to why I had to clear the courtroom in the first place,” he said.

Ex-President, Felon and Candidate: 5 Takeaways From Trump’s Conviction

The New York Times

Ex-President, Felon and Candidate: 5 Takeaways From Trump’s Conviction

Donald J. Trump will live the life of a New York convict until he is sentenced on July 11. He faces as long as four years in prison.

By Jesse McKinley and Kate Chistobek  – May 30, 2024

Donald Trump, looking downward.
Donald J. Trump’s conviction, born in the heat of one presidential race, could have an impact on another.Credit…Pool photo by Justin Lane

It was an end like no other for a trial like no other: a former American president found guilty of 34 felonies.

The conviction of Donald Trump, read aloud shortly after 5 p.m. by the jury foreman as the former president sat just feet away, ended months of legal maneuvering, weeks of testimony, days of deliberation and several nervous minutes after the jury entered the Manhattan courtroom.

The former president and the presumptive Republican nominee was convicted of 34 counts of falsifying business records related to a scheme to cover up an extramarital tryst with a porn star, Stormy Daniels, in 2006. That encounter — which the former president denied — led to a $130,000 hush-money payment whose concealment gave rise to the 34 counts of falsifying business records that made Mr. Trump a felon.

Mr. Trump’s sentencing is scheduled for July 11; he has indicated he will appeal.

Here are five takeaways from the last day of Mr. Trump’s momentous trial.

Thursday, the second day of deliberations, seemed to be moving toward a quiet conclusion. Then, suddenly the word came from the judge, Juan M. Merchan: There was a verdict.

Less than an hour later, the headlines reading “guilty” began to be written.

The decision came just hours after the jury had asked to hear testimony involving the first witness — David Pecker, the former publisher of The National Enquirer — including his account of the now infamous 2015 meeting at Trump Tower where he agreed to publish positive stories and bury negative stories about Mr. Trump’s nascent candidacy.

They also wanted to hear testimony from Michael Cohen, whose account closely hewed to Mr. Pecker’s.

Those two witnesses may have spelled doom for Mr. Trump’s defense.

Mr. Trump, 77, was relatively subdued when the verdict was read, wearing a glum expression.

That sedate mask fell away. After he left the courtroom, he expressed disgust at the verdict in the hallway and suggested that voters would punish Democrats at the ballot box.

“The real verdict is going to be Nov. 5 by the people,” he said. “And they know what happened here.”

Allies chimed in. Charlie Kirk, the founder of Turning Point USA, a conservative group, suggested that Republican district attorneys should investigate Democrats. “How many Republican DAs or AG’s have stones?” he said in an online post, adding, “Indict the left, or lose America.”

Alvin L. Bragg, the Manhattan district attorney, had risked his reputation, reviving a prosecution that was derided by some as a “zombie case.” It was alive, then dead, then alive again.

Now, Mr. Bragg has cemented his place in history as the first prosecutor to convict a former president. That victory came after he had been viciously attacked, again and again, by Mr. Trump, who portrayed the case as politically motivated while sometimes personally insulting him.

In a news conference late Thursday afternoon, Mr. Bragg was restrained in his remarks, thanking the jury and calling their service the “cornerstone of our judicial system.” He also reiterated that “this type of white-collar prosecution is core to what we do at the Manhattan district attorney’s office.”

“I did my job,” he said.

Before his sentencing July 11, Mr. Trump will have the same experience as anyone else convicted of a felony in the New York court system.

The New York City probation department will conduct an interview and generate a sentencing recommendation for Justice Merchan. During the interview, a convict can “try to make a good impression and explain why he or she deserves a lighter punishment,” according to the New York State Unified Court System.

Justice Merchan, whom Mr. Trump has spent the last several months excoriating, could sentence the former president to up to four years in prison. Another option is probation, which would require Mr. Trump to regularly report to an officer.

Any punishment could be delayed when Mr. Trump appeals the conviction. It’s unlikely any appeal will get resolved before Election Day, and he could remain free until the appeal is resolved.

It’s too early to know how the verdict will affect the presidential campaign. Nothing in the Constitution prevents a felon from serving as president.

Both Mr. Trump and President Biden immediately tried to capitalize on the guilty verdict in fund-raising emails, including one from Mr. Trump declaring “JUSTICE IS DEAD IN AMERICA!” and calling himself “a political prisoner.”

Mr. Biden also posted a fund-raising appeal shortly after the verdict: “There’s only one way to keep Donald Trump out of the Oval Office: At the ballot box.”

Whether the conviction will resonate with voters in November is impossible to predict. One thing is certain: Mr. Trump’s conviction will test the American people, and the nation’s fealty to the rule of law.

McConnell comes to Trump’s defense after guilty verdict

The Hill

McConnell comes to Trump’s defense after guilty verdict

By Alexander Bolton – May 30, 2024 

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), who has steadfastly refused to comment about the presidential race or his long-running feud with former President Trump, came to his defense Thursday night.

Hours after the jury rendered its guilty verdict, McConnell declared that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg (D) should never have brought the case and predicted the conviction would be overturned.

“These charges never should have been brought in the first place. I expect the conviction to be overturned on appeal,” McConnell wrote in a post on the social platform X.

McConnell’s surprise decision to weigh in on the outcome of a court case he has refused to talk about for months may indicate that Trump’s conviction could have a unifying effect on the GOP — rallying even his biggest skeptics within the party to his defense.

McConnell has let Trump twist in the wind by staying silent on other big occasions.

The Senate GOP leader stayed notably silent in April of last year, when Trump pleaded not guilty to the 34 felony counts brought by Bragg.

A key difference between now and then is that a year ago, Republicans who weren’t Trump fans had hope that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis or another Republican might win the party’s nomination for president.

Instead, Trump steamrolled his opponents in this year’s primary and is the presumptive GOP nominee.

He has had trouble unifying the party, however, as significant shares of GOP primary voters in Indiana and other states have voted instead for former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, even though she dropped out of the presidential race in March.

Thursday’s verdict may bring skeptical mainstream Republicans closer to Trump.

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), a leading Senate GOP moderate who voted to convict Trump on the impeachment charge of inciting the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, criticized Bragg on Thursday for waging a politically motivated prosecution.

“It is fundamental to our American system of justice that the government prosecutes cases because of alleged criminal conduct regardless of who the defendant happens to be. In this case the opposite has happened. The district attorney, who campaigned on a promise to prosecute Donald Trump, brought these charges precisely because of who the defendant was rather than because of any specified criminal conduct,” Collins said in a statement Thursday evening.

“The political underpinnings of this case further blur the lines between the judicial system and the electoral system, and this verdict likely will be the subject of a protracted appeals process,” she said.

McConnell and Collins were two of the biggest Trump skeptics in the Senate GOP conference to slam the Bragg decision to prosecute the former president, but other Republican senators not especially close to Trump also rallied to his defense.

“I’ve been on a flight, but just landed and saw the news. This case was politically motivated from the beginning, and today’s verdict does nothing to absolve the partisan nature of this prosecution,” said Senate Republican Whip John Thune (S.D.), who opposed Trump’s effort to block the certification of Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory and whose career Trump later tried to end in an act of retaliation.

Trump tried to drum up a conservative primary challenger to knock Thune out of office in 2022, but the effort fizzled.

That past bad blood appeared entirely forgotten by Thune on Thursday after news of the verdict.

“Regardless of outcome, more and more Americans are realizing that we cannot survive four more years of Joe Biden. With President Trump in the White House and a Republican majority in the U.S. Senate, we can finally end the disastrous Biden-Schumer agenda that’s crushing American families and businesses,” Thune said in reaction to the verdict.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) delivered his own response shortly after McConnell criticized the successful prosecution of Trump.

“No one is above the law. The verdict speaks for itself,” Schumer said in a short statement.

Trump’s G.O.P. Allies Assail His Guilty Verdict and Warn It Will Backfire

The New York Times

Trump’s G.O.P. Allies Assail His Guilty Verdict and Warn It Will Backfire

Republicans urged the former president to appeal the verdict after a jury found him guilty of all 34 criminal counts.

By Neil Vigdor and Luke Broadwater – May 30, 2024

Mike Johnson wears a blue suit with a striped blue tie, with his eyes cast down. A man is standing behind him.
House Speaker Mike Johnson said the verdict made Thursday a “shameful day in American history.”Credit…Kenny Holston/The New York Times

The Republican allies of former President Donald J. Trump wasted no time in blasting the guilty verdict returned by a New York jury on Thursday and in imploring him to appeal, repeatedly turning to words like “travesty” and “injustice” to describe the moment.

Top Republicans on Capitol Hill tried to one-up one another in demonstrating who could defend Mr. Trump, who was convicted of all 34 felony counts in the hush-money case, and condemn the verdict in the most strident terms.

House Speaker Mike Johnson, who was among the cavalcade of Trump supporters who showed up outside Mr. Trump’s trial in a show of loyalty, called Thursday a “shameful day in American history.”

“Democrats cheered as they convicted the leader of the opposing party on ridiculous charges,” he said. “This was a purely political exercise, not a legal one.”

The Trump Manhattan Criminal Verdict, Count By CountFormer President Donald J. Trump faced 34 felony charges of falsifying business records, related to the reimbursement of hush money paid to the porn star Stormy Daniels in order to cover up a sex scandal around the 2016 presidential election.

The No. 2 Republican in the House, Steve Scalise of Louisiana, said in a statement that America had been rendered a “banana republic.” And Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio, the chair of the House Judiciary Committee and a close ally of Mr. Trump’s, condemned a “kangaroo court.”

“The verdict is a travesty of justice,” he fumed.

It was also a moment of alignment for Republicans who have at times been at cross purposes, like Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida, another Trump acolyte, and Kevin McCarthy, the former House speaker Mr. Gaetz and other hard right members pushed out last year.

Mr. McCarthy, whose differences with Mr. Trump had simmered in the open, wrote that “President Trump’s only ‘crime’ is running against Joe Biden in 2024.”

Mr. Gaetz leaned into the moment to help Mr. Trump raise money for his presidential campaign, sharing an image on X of Mr. Trump pumping his fist with the words “never surrender” in all caps.

And Vivek Ramaswamy, one of Mr. Trump’s former G.O.P. primary opponents, warned on X: “This will backfire.”

The sentiment was echoed by the right-wing podcaster Jack Posobiec, who declared matter-of-factly: “Trump just won the election.”

Still, some prominent Republicans called for respecting the judicial system.

“Regardless of the result, I urge all Americans to respect the verdict and the legal process,” Larry Hogan, the former governor of Maryland who is running for Senate there, said in a statement. “At this dangerously divided moment in our history, all leaders — regardless of party — must not pour fuel on the fire with more toxic partisanship. We must reaffirm what has made this nation great: the rule of law.”

Chris LaCivita, a top official in the Trump campaign, responded to Mr. Hogan online: “You just ended your campaign.”

John R. Bolton, who fervently disavowed Mr. Trump after serving as his national security adviser, urged Republicans to abandon the former president.

“Today’s verdict is a fire-bell in the night,” Mr. Bolton wrote on X. “The Republican Party now has one last chance to change course, and not nominate a convicted felon for President.”

But for the most part, Republicans were eager to display their support for Mr. Trump.

Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, a far-right House member from Georgia, posted an image of upside-down flag on social media. The flag, a symbol of distress, is fast becoming a rallying cry on the right. One flown outside the home of Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. in January 2021 has led Democrats to call for his recusal from cases related to the Capitol attack.

Marjorie Taylor Greene speaks as she is surrounded by people holding out microphones and other recording devices.
Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia outside the Capitol earlier in May. Ms. Taylor Greene shared an image of an upside-down flag on social media after the verdict was announced.Credit…Kenny Holston/The New York Times

Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, who endorsed Mr. Trump after he was unsuccessful in persuading Republican primary voters that Mr. Trump’s legal woes made him politically vulnerable, empathized with his former rival.

“If the defendant were not Donald Trump, this case would never have been brought, the judge would have never issued similar rulings, and the jury would have never returned a guilty verdict,” he wrote.

Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina and Gov. Doug Burgum of North Dakota, two more of Mr. Trump’s former primary rivals, also weighed in. Mr. Scott called the process a sham in a video posted on social media. “Un-freaking-believable,” he said. And Mr. Burgum, whose presidential bid never gained traction, wrote on X that “This lawfare should scare every American.”

Representative Lauren Boebert, the provocateur from Colorado, wrote, “If this were happening in another country, Biden would be asking Congress to authorize a war to reinstate democracy abroad.”

Kari Lake, a candidate for the Senate in Arizona and one of Mr. Trump’s fiercest defenders, called the verdict an “egregious example of election interference and an outright mockery of the rule of law.”

“This legal tyranny will be summarily rejected by the American people on Nov. 5,” she wrote.

Mike Pompeo, who was secretary of state under Mr. Trump and whose name has been floated as a potential running mate, panned the jury’s verdict.

“The future of this country should — and will — be decided by the American people in an election, not by 12 New Yorkers in a travesty of a politicized courtroom,” Mr. Pompeo wrote on X.

Ken Bensinger contributed reporting.

The Secret Reasons Why You Should Always Tip In Cash


The Secret Reasons Why You Should Always Tip In Cash

Taylor Ann Spencer – May 30, 2024

dollar banknotes and coins, money tips
Why You Should Always Tip In Cashvinnstock – Getty Images

We live in an era of cash-free convenience. We buy most things by swiping or tapping credit cards or holding our phones up to a screen. We prefer to tip our servers, bartenders, and hair stylists the same way because it’s as simple as hitting a button.

But what if I told you that there are several practical reasons why we should all be tipping exclusively in cash? The fast is, cash tipping is the only way to ensure that your servers actually walk away with 100% of their tip money.

As a former NYC bartender and server, I have plenty of my own opinions, but I also talked to several former and current service industry workers to get their perspective. Here’s why you should consider bypassing the credit card tip screen and leaving cash instead.

The Server Gets the Tip Immediately

One of the biggest reasons to tip in cash is that the service worker will receive that money immediately. This is a big bonus on both a psychological and a practical level. According to Colton Trowbridge, a longtime server who has worked in both Kansas and NYC restaurants, cash tips are better because they provide immediate evidence of earning money: instant gratification.

“It feels a little bit more real when it’s in your hand,” he says. This might sound trivial, but when you’re in the middle of a crazy eight-hour brunch shift and your guaranteed hourly rate is only 50% of the legal minimum wage, tangible proof that you are actually earning decent money counts for a lot.

Cash tips are also important because they mean that the server will likely get to take the money home that night. They won’t need to wait two weeks to receive it with a paycheck. This is often true even if the server has to pool their cash tips with others at the end of the night. “I have worked in a pooled house where cash is divided up evenly and then it’s given to you,” Trowbridge shared. “In that case, I prefer it for sure.”

For some servers, this day-to-day cash flow might not be necessary. For others, it might be as critically important as allowing them to buy food for their families or pay the babysitter who watched their children while they were working. Of course this varies by the individual, and there’s no way customers can know a specific worker’s situation. Regardless, cash is always the better bet.

Cash Tips Leave Less Margin for Error

There’s significantly less margin for error when you tip in cash. Think about it: a $10 bill is $10, and when you give it to your server, they have it securely in their hand and its value is indisputable.

But when you tip on a credit card, there are many potential pitfalls. If you’re writing the tip on a printed slip, there’s the possibility for written errors. Maybe you put the period in the wrong place and ended up tipping way less (or way more!) than you intended. Maybe you forgot to sign the slip or, worse, took the signed slip with you by accident.

I have personally lost at least two or three sizable tips when customers erroneously walked out the door with those slips. In these cases, the restaurant’s payment has already been processed, but the only proof of the tip left on the credit card is that slip they scrawled on. Without it, the server is left empty-handed.

glass tip jar at checkout counter
Catherine McQueen – Getty Images
Businesses Can Deduct Credit Card Processing Fees From Tips

No, you didn’t misread that. In most states, it is 100% legal for businesses to pay their credit card processing fees from the tip money left for servers on credit cards.

This is clearly stated on the U.S. Department of Labor website under the Fair Labor Standards Act: “tips are charged on customers’ credit cards…the employer may pay the employee the tip, less that [credit card service fee] percentage.”

Only Maine, Massachusetts, and California have laws banning this. So, to be absolutely clear, if you have tipped a server on a credit card in any other state, there’s a high probability that the server (or the pooled house the server belonged to) didn’t receive the full tip you left them.

Most businesses do not necessarily tell their staff when they are removing the fees from the tip pool. Trowbridge shared that he has worked at one restaurant where he knew they were taking out the fees, but only because he asked them point-blank.

“It’s frustrating,” he said. “I don’t think that’s something that most people are aware of.” Since then, he has worked in several other spots where he and his fellow servers might have been losing out on credit card tip money because of processing fees, yet it was never really discussed. “It’s definitely not a big topic of conversation in the industry.”

In this age of contactless payment, it takes extra planning to make sure you have cash on hand for tipping. But all things considered, it’s definitely worth it. Next time you reach the optional tipping screen, hit “skip” and tell your server you’ll be leaving the tip in cash. They’ll appreciate that extra effort.

Trump criminal charges guidebook: Here are all 88 felony counts against the former president across 4 cases

Yahoo! News

Trump criminal charges guidebook: Here are all 88 felony counts against the former president across 4 cases

Yahoo News breaks down exactly what Trump is being charged with in each case as well as the judges, prosecutors, co-defendants and key dates.

Dylan Stableford and Ed Hornick – May 30, 2024

Donald Trump
Donald Trump at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines on Aug. 12, 2023. (Brandon Bell/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

Ajury in Manhattan on Thursday found Donald Trump guilty on all 34 counts in his hush money trial.

Trump — the first former American president to be convicted of a crime — faces three other criminal cases.

Below is a breakdown of what Trump is being charged with along with the names of those prosecuting him, his co-defendants, judges overseeing them and key dates in each case:

➡️ Manhattan hush money case
Former US President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump walks to speak to the press after he was convicted in his criminal trial at Manhattan Criminal Court in New York City, on May 30, 2024. A New York jury convicted Donald Trump on all charges in his hush money case on May 30, 2024 in a seismic development barely five months ahead of the election where he seeks to recapture the White House. (Photo by JUSTIN LANE / POOL / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN LANE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Former US President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump walks to speak to the press after he was convicted in his criminal trial at Manhattan Criminal Court in New York City, on May 30, 2024. (Photo by JUSTIN LANE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) (JUSTIN LANE via Getty Images)

VerdictGuilty on all 34 counts

What to know: Trump was indicted last March over his role in the so-called hush money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels, who said she’d had an affair with Trump, on the eve of the 2016 election. Michael Cohen — Trump’s longtime fixer who went to federal prison for orchestrating payments to Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal (who also said she’d had an affair with Trump), as well as for lying to Congress — testified multiple times before the grand jury voted to indict the former president.

What is Trump charged with? 34 identical criminal counts of falsifying business records in the first degree.

[Click here to read the full indictment]

Lead prosecutor: Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg

Attorneys representing Trump: Susan Necheles, Todd Blanche, Emil Bove

Judge presiding: Juan Manuel Merchan

➡️ Georgia election conspiracy case
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis. (Christian Monterrosa/AFP via Getty Images) (CHRISTIAN MONTERROSA via Getty Images)

What to know: Trump and his allies were charged in a 41-count indictment stemming from a years-long investigation into their efforts to overturn Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election in Georgia. Biden carried Georgia by just 11,779 votes. Three of the counts against Trump were later dismissed, though Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis appealed their dismissal.

What is Trump charged with? 10 criminal counts, including:

• Violation of the Georgia RICO Act
• Conspiracy to commit impersonating a public officer
• Conspiracy to commit forgery in the first degree
• Conspiracy to commit false statements and writings
• Conspiracy to commit filing false documents
• False statements and writings
• Filing false documents

[Click here to read the full indictment]

Who else is being charged?

Eighteen of Trump’s allies, including former White House chief of staff Mark Meadowsattorneys Rudy Giuliani, Jenna Ellis, Sidney Powell, John Eastman, Ray Stallings Smith, Robert Cheeley and Kenneth Cheseboro; former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark; Republican strategist Michael Roman; chairman of the Georgia GOP David Shafer; Georgia Republican state Sen. Shawn Still; police chaplain Stephen Lee; Blacks for Trump organizer Harrison Floyd; publicist Trevian Kutti; former Coffee County GOP chair Cathleen Latham; Fulton County GOP poll watcher Scott Hall; and Coffee County elections supervisor Misty Hampton.

Lead prosecutor: Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis

Lawyers representing Trump: Steven Sadow

Judge presiding: Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee

➡️ Jan. 6 case
Donald Trump
Trump arriving at Reagan National Airport following his arraignment in Washington on Aug. 3, 2023. (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

What to know: Last August, a federal grand jury voted to indict the former president over his efforts to hold on to power following his loss in the 2020 election, including his actions leading to the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection at the Capitol.

What is Trump charged with? Four criminal counts:

• Conspiracy to defraud the United States
• Conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding
• Obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding
• Conspiracy against rights

[Click here to read the full indictment]

Who else is being charged?

The indictment lists six unnamed co-conspirators.

Lead prosecutor: Special counsel Jack Smith

Lead attorney representing Trump: John Lauro

Judge presiding: Judge Tanya Chutkan

➡️ Classified documents case
Boxes of records stored in a bathroom and shower at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate
This image, contained in the indictment against Trump, shows boxes of records stored in a bathroom at Mar-a-Lago. (Justice Department via AP) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

What to know: Trump was indicted last June on charges stemming from the Justice Department’s investigation into his handling of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla., after he left office as well as alleged efforts to obstruct the probe.

What is Trump charged with? 40 criminal counts in the classified documents case, including:

• Willful retention of national defense information
• Conspiracy to obstruct justice
• Withholding of a document or record
• Corruptly concealing a document or record
• Concealing a document in a federal investigation
• Scheme to conceal
• False statements and representations

[Read the full indictment]

Who else is being charged? Walt Nauta, Trump’s valet and personal aide; and Carlos De Oliveira, the property manager at Mar-a-Lago.

Lead prosecutor: Special counsel Jack Smith

Lead attorney representing Trump: Todd Blanche

Judge presiding: U.S. District Court Judge Aileen Cannon