New round of Trump clemency benefits Manafort, other allies
FILE - In this Thursday, June 27, 2019 file photo, Paul Manafort arrives in court in New York. President Trump's former campaign manager is to be arraigned on state mortgage fraud charges. Manafort, who led Trump's campaign during a pivotal period in 2016 before being ousted over his ties to Ukraine, was among the first people charged as part of Mueller’s investigation into ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. Though the charges against Manafort did not concern the central thrust of Mueller's mandate — whether the Trump campaign and Russia colluded to tip the election — he was nonetheless a pivotal figure in the investigation. Trump and the elder Kushner knew each other from real estate circles and their children were married in 2009.
A look at the 29 people Trump pardoned or gave commutations
Trump commuted his sentence in July just days before he was scheduled to report to federal prison. The president commuted her sentence; the White House said the commutation was supported by several former U.S. attorneys general. A White House news release praised the men as “model prisoners,” who had earned support and praise from other inmates. She was in the White House when Trump signed the overhaul measure, known as the First Step Act, into law. Black was a co-defendant in the case and was also convicted; Trump previously pardoned him.
Pentagon installs 2 Trump allies on defense advisory board
The Pentagon has appointed two close political allies of President Donald Trump to a defense advisory board, continuing a purge of the Defense Department in the waning weeks of the Trump administration. The acting secretary of defense, Christopher Miller, said in a written statement Friday that nine members of the Defense Business Board had been replaced with the appointment of 11 new members. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)WASHINGTON – The Pentagon has appointed two close allies of President Donald Trump, Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie, to a defense advisory board, continuing a post-election purge in the final weeks of the administration. The Miller statement initially said the nine individuals removed from the board had been serving in ”expired positions," implying they were overdue to leave. But later the Pentagon amended the statement to say some board members had been “terminated.” It gave no reason for the firings.
The Latest: Aide says Biden will appoint 'COVID coordinator'
Joe Biden has chosen his longtime adviser Ron Klain to reprise his role as his chief of staff, installing an aide with decades of experience across. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)WASHINGTON – The Latest on President-elect Joe Biden (all times local):10:45 p.m.Incoming White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain says President-elect Joe Biden will appoint a “COVID coordinator” who will lead the administration’s pandemic response. ___3:25 p.m.President-elect Joe Biden has spoken with the top two Democrats in Congress — but not their Republican counterparts yet. ___1 p.m.President-elect Joe Biden has spoken by phone with Pope Francis as he continues to talk with leaders around the world. Democrats already control the House, and Democrat Joe Biden is the president-elect after beating President Donald Trump in their White House contest.
LIVE: President Trump’s campaign to speak after suing Pennsylvania, Michigan
The Trump campaign will host a press conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with Eric Trump, Trump 2020 Senior Advisor Lara Trump, Former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, andcampaign Senior Advisor Corey Lewandowski. 3:35 p.m.President Donald Trump’s campaign says it’s suing to temporarily stop the vote count in Pennsylvania, claiming lack of “transparency.”Justin Clark, Trump’s deputy campaign manager, said in a statement Wednesday that the campaign is ``suing to stop Democrat election officials from hiding the ballot counting and processing from our Republican poll observers.'' He said the campaign wants ``to temporarily halt counting until there is meaningful transparency and Republicans can ensure all counting is done above board and by the law.'' Clark also said the campaign would seek to intervene in an ongoing Supreme Court case involving the deadline for receiving mail-in ballots. There have been no reports by law enforcement of fraud or any type of ballot concerns out of Pennsylvania.
EXPLAINER: Why AP hasn't called Pennsylvania
WHY AP HASN’T CALLED PENNSYLVANIA:A close margin and a large number of outstanding votes are what’s making the Pennsylvania contest between President Donald Trump and Joe Biden too early to call. State law dictates that a recount must be held if the margin between the two candidates is less than 0.5%. The Pennsylvania secretary of state’s website said Friday that there were about 89,000 more mail ballots to count. It’s not like, ‘Oh, it’s close,’” Trump said during an appearance at the White House. One reason the race tightened: Under state law, elections officials are not allowed to process mail-in ballots until Election Day.
Women for Trump bus tour stops in Jacksonville
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The “Women for Trump” bus tour made a stop Wednesday at the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront. The tour is showcasing local women’s support for President Donald Trump and helping residents register to vote. The keynote speakers in Jacksonville were Senior Advisors Lara Trump and Katrina Pierson and former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi. Mayor Lenny Curry and his wife, Molly, spoke before the three prominent Republican women speakers. Curry welcomed the guests to the city he called “Trump Country.”News4Jax spoke one-on-one with Katrina Pierson after the event.
WHAT TO WATCH: Melania, Pompeo and Trump at GOP convention
What to watch at the convention Tuesday:TRUMPTrump appeared frequently during the first day of his partys convention. THE FIRST LADYFirst lady Melania Trump is set to give the marquee address from the Rose Garden. Her speech at the 2016 GOP convention, the night she introduced herself to voters, was well-received but was later found to have included lines that were very close to what former first lady Michelle Obama said in her 2008 speech at the Democratic convention. Two of the presidents children, Eric Trump and Tiffany Trump, are scheduled, along with Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, Iowa Gov. BIDENUnlike Trump, who planned events to counter the Democratic convention, the Biden campaign has not scheduled their candidate to make appearances during the GOP gathering.
Nunez, Bondi to speak at Republican National Convention
Jeanette Nunez and former Attorney General Pam Bondi are slated to speak Tuesday during the second day of the Republican National Convention. Excited to join President Trump and many of our partys patriots to address the nation on Tuesday night during the Republican National Convention! Nunez, who co-chairs a national Latinos for Trump effort, wrote Sunday on Facebook. Bondi has been a longtime supporter of Trump and worked on his defense team during the impeachment process. FILE - In this Feb. 22, 2018 file photo, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, speaks to reporters outside the West Wing in Washington. On Monday, Republican Party of Florida Chairman Joe Gruters, a state senator from Sarasota, seconded the formal nomination of Trump to be the GOP candidate.
Team Trump pushes for voting by mail
Donald Trump carried the vast majority of counties there in 2016 and the Team Trump caravan is on the road with a swing across northern Florida looking for a repeat. Team Trump pulled into a small strip shopping mall minutes after volunteers lined the sidewalk with Black Voices for Trump signs. In a small office packed with volunteers, Bondi pushed mail voting, drawing a distinction between Florida's method and other states. In a release, Florida Democrats accused the bus tour of recklessly endangering public safety during the pandemic. Florida Democrats also said in that statement that the bus tour was being used to distract people from the presidents handling of the pandemic.
Buckle up: What to watch as impeachment trial takes off
That maroons 100 chatty senators including four Democrats in the heat of a nomination fight for the serious constitutional business of the impeachment trial, for hours at a time. Senate rules say the trial must proceed six days a week all but Sunday until it is resolved. But here again, there's precedent for Trump to consider: Clinton delivered his State of the Union speech in the midst of his Senate trial. ___THE PROSECUTORSThey could be heard practicing speeches in the shuttered Senate chamber late into Monday night. 51: The number of senators who must agree on almost anything to make it happen during an impeachment trial.
Former Florida AG Pam Bondi named to Trump’s impeachment defense team
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, who has been part of President Donald Trump’s impeachment communications team, will be part of the defense for his Senate trial, according to several Washington, D.C.-based news outlets. Bondi, a former assistant state attorney from Hillsborough County who spent eight years as Florida’s top elected legal official and is a close ally of Trump’s, went to work for the White House in November to represent the president before the media during the House inquiry. Trump’s legal team for the upcoming Senate trial also includes former Harvard University law professor Alan Dershowitz and Kenneth Starr, who was appointed in 1994 to head the Whitewater investigation involving former President Bill Clinton that resulted in Clinton’s impeachment by the House four years later. White House counsel Pat Cipollone and Jay Sekulow, a long-term personal attorney for Trump, are expected to lead the team, according to the news reports. On the other side of the case, Orlando U.S. Rep. Val Demings will serve as one of the House Democratic impeachment managers for the trial, which is expected to start the middle of next week.
Florida attorney general warns of tax season scam
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi is warning Floridians to be aware of the threat of identity theft during tax season. "Tax identify theft is one of the most common forms of identity theft and can cause people financial issues for years," Bondi wrote on myfloridalegal.com, the website of the attorney general's office. "Identity thieves will use a taxpayer’s Social Security number and personal information to steal their tax refund, open a credit card, take out a loan or find employment, causing problems for victims when filing with the Internal Revenue Service." The site lists several recommendations to prevent identity theft and other tax-related scams:File tax returns earlyUse a secure internet connection, not public wireless networks, if filing electronicallySend returns directly from the post office if you are filing by mailShred documents containing personal informationGet recommendations and research a tax preparer thoroughly before providing personal informationFlorida residents who believe that they have been victimized by identity theft are urged to call local law enforcement or file an online complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. Consumers can also file complaints about identity theft and other types of fraud with Bondi's office by visiting MyFloridaLegal.com or calling 866-9-NO-SCAM.