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Donald J. Trump After the White House Page 6

The Trump Presidency is over, it started with lie and 30,000 lies later, it ended with lies, over 400,000 Americans dead many who would not have die if not for Trump’s lies. Trump's first lie was about the size of his inauguration claiming it was bigger than Obama it was not. Here are some but not all of his lies. He lied about contacts his campaign had with Russians. He lied about his attempt to force the Ukraine to help him dig up dirt on Biden so he could win the 2020 election. Trump’s lies about the coronavirus caused the deaths of 400,000 Americans maybe more. Trump attempted multiple coups, cause sedition, incited insurrection and the sacking of the capitol of the United States of America. Trump ended his presidency with a lie about the election claiming he won more votes than Biden did he did not. That lie lead to sedition, insurrection and the sacking of the capitol of the United States of America. This page is Tracking Donald J. Trump after his time in the White House.

Learn more about some of the legal issues of Donald J. Trump (aka Don the Con, aka Don the Snake, aka Two face Donnie, aka The Don, aka Criminal Don). Here you can find a short list of the lawsuits against Donald J. Trump.


On January 6, 2021, the United States Capitol was sacked in a riot and violent attack against the 117th United States Congress in an attempted coup d’état. With help from his allies, Fox News, right-wing media and some in the Republican Party; Donald J. Trump incited insurrection, sedition, attempted a coup d’etat and caused the sacking of the United States Capitol. Donald J. Trump’s coup attempt involved some House members, some Senate members, and Mike Pence overturning the election certification process with the hope that Trump could steal the election and steal the presidency. more...

Trump and allies filed scores of lawsuits, tried to convince state legislatures to take action, organized protests and held hearings.. None of it worked.
William Cummings, Joey Garrison and Jim Sergent, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump spent much of the 2020 presidential campaign insisting that he could only lose if the election was rigged against him, and he has spent nearly every day since his defeat claiming his dire predictions of fraud had come to pass. But just as he cried foul before a single vote was cast – something he also did in 2016 – Trump has maintained he was robbed of victory without any credible evidence to support that belief. Despite assurances from his own departments of Justice and Homeland Security that no serious fraud occurred, Trump has raged against the election result and mounted a relentless campaign to reverse President-elect Joe Biden's 306-232 Electoral College win. more...

Kevin Breuninger

Lawyers for Donald Trump on Tuesday denied that the former president incited a mob of his supporters to storm the U.S. Capitol, or that he tried to stop Congress from confirming President Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory. The arguments in a 14-page filing from Trump’s legal team came one week before his unprecedented second impeachment trial is set to begin in the Senate. Trump was impeached in the House last month on one article of inciting an insurrection. Earlier Tuesday, nine Democratic House impeachment managers shared an 80-page trial brief laying out their case for convicting Trump in the Senate and barring him from ever holding federal office again. Those impeachment managers argued that Trump was “personally responsible” for inciting the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol, which left five dead and forced an evacuation by a joint session of Congress, derailing their efforts to confirm Biden’s election win. more...

Alayna Treene

Disagreements over legal strategy weren't the only reason Donald Trump's defense team collapsed just days before his second impeachment trial, Axios has learned. What we're hearing: The notoriously stingy former president and his lead lawyer, Butch Bowers, wrangled over compensation during a series of tense phone calls, sources familiar with their conversations said. The argument came even though Trump has raised over $170 million from the public that could be used on his legal defenses. The two initially agreed Bowers would be paid $250,000 for his individual services, a figure that "delighted" Trump, one of the sources said. However, Trump didn't realize Bowers hadn't included additional expenses — including more lawyers, researchers and other legal fees that would be accrued on the job. He was said to be livid when Bowers came back to him with a total budget of $3 million. Trump called the South Carolina attorney and eventually negotiated him down to $1 million. more...

By Amy Gardner and Karoun Demirjian

House Democrats made their case to convict former president Donald Trump of inciting the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol in a sweeping impeachment brief filed with the Senate on Tuesday that accused Trump of whipping his supporters into a “frenzy” and described him as “singularly responsible” for the mayhem that ensued. In the brief, the nine House impeachment managers argue that Trump is not protected by the First Amendment’s freedom of speech provision, which was never intended, they wrote, to allow a president to “provoke lawless action if he loses at the polls.” “If provoking an insurrectionary riot against a Joint Session of Congress after losing an election is not an impeachable offense, it is hard to imagine what would be,” the brief states. Democrats also rejected the claim embraced by many Republicans that it is unconstitutional to convict a president after he has left office — an argument that Trump’s lawyers are expected to make in his defense. more...

By Adam Brewster

Former President Trump's new political action committee brought in more than $30 million during the final weeks of 2020, giving him a large war chest to continue to wield his political influence, even though he is no longer in office. Save America, a leadership PAC created after the general election, entered 2021 with more than $31 million cash on hand, according to an Federal Election Commission filing. The bulk of that money, $30.4 million, was transferred from the Trump Make America Great Again committee. The cash in Save America is just a fraction of what Mr. Trump and Republicans hold in various political committee accounts. His presidential campaign committee still has $10.7 million in the bank. Mr. Trump's joint fundraising committees with the Republican National Committee, Trump Make America Great Again Committee and Trump Victory, have about $63 million cash on hand — although the former president isn't entitled to all of that money. more...

Federal law enforcement shifted resources last year in response to Donald Trump’s insistence that the radical left endangered the country. Meanwhile, right-wing extremism was building ominously.
By Adam Goldman, Katie Benner and Zolan Kanno-Youngs

WASHINGTON — As racial justice protests erupted nationwide last year, President Donald J. Trump, struggling to find a winning campaign theme, hit on a message that he stressed over and over: The real domestic threat to the United States emanated from the radical left, even though law enforcement authorities had long since concluded it came from the far right. It was a message that was quickly embraced and amplified by his attorney general and his top homeland security officials, who translated it into a shift in criminal justice and national security priorities even as Mr. Trump was beginning to openly stoke the outrage that months later would culminate in the storming of the Capitol by right-wing extremists. Mr. Trump’s efforts to focus his administration on the antifa movement and leftist groups did not stop the Justice Department and the F.B.I. from pursuing cases of right-wing extremism. They broke up a kidnapping plot, for example, targeting Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, a Democrat. more...

The 27-page report pins Trump's loss on voter perception that he was untrustworthy and disapproval of his pandemic performance.
By ALEX ISENSTADT

Former President Donald Trump has blamed the election results on unfounded claims of fraud and malfeasance. But at the top levels of his campaign, a detailed autopsy report that circulated among his political aides paints a far different — and more critical — portrait of what led to his defeat. The post-mortem, a copy of which was obtained by POLITICO, says the former president suffered from voter perception that he wasn’t honest or trustworthy and that he was crushed by disapproval of his handling of the coronavirus pandemic. And while Trump spread baseless accusations of ballot-stuffing in heavily Black cities, the report notes that he was done in by hemorrhaging support from white voters. The 27-page report, which was written by Trump chief pollster Tony Fabrizio, shows how Trump advisers were privately reckoning with his loss even as the former president and many of his supporters engaged in a conspiracy theory-fueled effort to overturn the election. The autopsy was completed in December 2020 and distributed to Trump’s top political advisers just before President Joe Biden’s Jan. 20 inauguration. more...

Analysis by Chris Cillizza, CNN Editor-at-large

(CNN) Less than 24 hours after CNN broke the news that Donald Trump's legal team quit just a week before his second impeachment trial is set to begin, the ex-president sent out a press release announcing his new, new team. And it was something. The email subject line? "45th President Donald J. Trump Announces Legal Team." It's first sentence? "45th President Donald J. Trump today announced that highly respected trial lawyers David Schoen and Bruce L. Castor, Jr., will head his impeachment defense legal team, bringing national profiles and significant trial experience in high-profile cases to the effort." The second sentence? "Notably, Schoen has already been working with the 45th President and other advisors to prepare for the upcoming trial, and both Schoen and Castor agree that this impeachment is unconstitutional - a fact 45 Senators voted in agreement with last week." more...

By Katie Shepherd

When Bruce L. Castor Jr. ran for district attorney in Montgomery County, Pa., in 2015, the campaign hinged on his decision years earlier not to charge comedian Bill Cosby with sexual assault. And after Castor lost the race, he sued the woman he blamed for the defeat: one of Cosby’s victims. His suit, which was dismissed in 2018, made national headlines as the prosecutor who defeated him criminally charged Cosby, eventually sending him to prison. Now, Castor is poised to represent another politician dismayed over a recent election loss: former president Donald Trump. Following a sudden exodus of lawyers who had been working on Trump’s defense for his Feb. 9 impeachment trial, the former president on Sunday announced that he’ll be represented by Castor and David Schoen, another attorney with ties to several high-profile, controversial defendants, including Roger Stone and Jeffrey Epstein. more...

By Tim Reid

(Reuters) - Dozens of Republicans in former President George W. Bush's administration are leaving the party, dismayed by a failure of many elected Republicans to disown Donald Trump after his false claims of election fraud sparked a deadly storming of the U.S. Capitol last month. These officials, some who served in the highest echelons of the Bush administration, said they had hoped that a Trump defeat would lead party leaders to move on from the former president and denounce his baseless claims that the November presidential election was stolen. But with most Republican lawmakers sticking to Trump, these officials say they no longer recognize the party they served. Some have ended their membership, others are letting it lapse while a few are newly registered as independents, according to a dozen former Bush officials who spoke with Reuters. more...

By Jim Acosta, Kaitlan Collins, Pamela Brown and Katelyn Polantz, CNN

(CNN) Former President Donald Trump's office announced that David Schoen and Bruce L. Castor, Jr. will now head the legal team for his second impeachment trial, a day after CNN first reported that five members of his defense left and his team effectively collapsed. One point of friction with his previous team was Trump wanted the attorneys to focus on his election fraud claims rather than the constitutionality of convicting a former president. Trump has struggled to find lawyers willing to take his case as he refuses to budge from his false claims. Trump's advisers have been talking to him about his legal strategy and he keeps bringing up election fraud for his defense, while they have repeatedly tried to steer him away from that, according to a source familiar with those discussions. It's unclear whether Schoen and Castor will go along with what Trump wants. more...

Ed Shanahan and William K. Rashbaum

A New York judge Friday increased pressure on former President Donald Trump’s family business and several associates, ordering them to give state investigators documents in a civil inquiry into whether the company misstated assets to get bank loans and tax benefits. It was the second blow that the judge, Arthur F. Engoron of state Supreme Court in Manhattan, had dealt to Trump’s company in recent weeks. In December, he ordered the company, the Trump Organization, to produce records that its lawyers had tried to shield, including some related to a Westchester County, New York, property that is among those being scrutinized by the New York state attorney general, Letitia James. more...

Are we entering a new era of political violence?
By Zack Beauchamp

That the United States made it through President Joe Biden’s inauguration without any major act of violence is a relief. But the fact that we had to be seriously worried about it — to the point of deploying 25,000 National Guard troops to secure Washington, DC — illustrates that the threat of far-right violence is here to stay. Indeed, on January 27, the Department of Homeland Security issued a bulletin warning that the threat from right-wing extremists “will persist in the weeks following the successful Presidential Inauguration” — that extremists “may be emboldened by the January 6, 2021 breach of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. to target elected officials and government facilities.”

A country that once stood itself up as a model of liberal democratic stability is now beginning to reckon with the fact that it is at serious risk of a major wave of political violence. Federal agents have been warning of a surge in far-right violence since at least 2009, but Trump’s malign influence supercharged the threat. The Trump years have seen a flurry of deadly right-wing violence: the murder of Heather Heyer in Charlottesville; 16 pipe bombs mailed to prominent Democrats and media figures; the mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue; and then the Capitol assault, a literal attack on the democratic process by an armed mob fueled by bigotry and conspiracy theories. more...

Lloyd Green

The Republican leadership has jettisoned its commitment to democracy and the rule of law and authoritarianism has found a political home. On Tuesday, the US Senate rejected an attempt to kill the impeachment trial of Donald Trump, 55-45, but only five Republicans voted with the majority. Acquittal of the ex-president is now a foregone conclusion. The only question is when. Trump 2024 can still happen. In the short run, his dream won’t die. With another campaign looming over the horizon, the former reality show host can still rake in the bucks to the delight of his family and his creditors. The beast will continue to be fed. Naturally, there were minor casualties. Mitch McConnell, the newly minted minority leader, fell in behind his caucus. His post-Capitol Hill attack theatrics are done, his outrage is over, his hopes for a Trump-free future dashed. On the other hand, Elaine Chao – McConnell’s wife who doubled as Trump’s transportation secretary and resigned in a pique over the storming of the Capitol – has landed on her feet at a conservative thinktank along with Mike Pompeo, Trump’s secretary of state. For Team McConnell, the past can be relegated to the rearview mirror. more...

Tom Porter

Veteran Republican Congressman Tom Cole of Oklahoma told The New York Times that the crisis facing the Republican Party in the wake of Donald Trump's presidency is greater than it faced after the Watergate scandal. "I've been in Republican politics for 40 years professionally — so, just after Watergate — and I will tell you this has been the worst period of the entire time," Cole told the Times. His remarks come amid chaos in the GOP following Trump's departure from office. A rift has between lawmakers who want to distance the party from Donald Trump in the wake of the Capitol riot and his bid to subvert the election and a group who've remained steadfastly loyal to the former president. more...

By Donald Ayer and Dennis Aftergut

Democracy’s future depends on the stories told of the past. They must be told from facts. We have important facts about the Jan. 6. insurrectionists Donald Trump incited to invade the Capitol. Some told an FBI informant that they intended to kill Mike Pence and Nancy Pelosi. They reportedly came within 60 seconds of finding Pence. That close call should compel robust criminal investigations — not only to hold accountable all those who entered the Capitol but also to tell us exactly what Trump knew when he gave his speech that morning inciting the rioters. The facts already known do not cast Trump in a good light. Consider the context: Trump’s increasing desperation on Jan. 6 as the walls closed in on his prospects for holding power. More than 60 courts had rejected Trump’s unfounded legal attempts to overturn the election. more....

By Gloria Borger, Kaitlan Collins, Jeff Zeleny and Ashley Semler, CNN

(CNN) Five of former President Donald Trump's impeachment defense team attorneys have stepped aside a little more than a week before his Senate trial is set to begin, according to people familiar with the case, amid a disagreement over his legal strategy. Butch Bowers and Deborah Barbier, who were expected to be two of the lead attorneys, are no longer on the team. A source familiar with the changes said it was a mutual decision for both to leave the legal team. As the lead attorney, Bowers assembled the team. Josh Howard, a North Carolina attorney who was recently added to the team, has also left, according to another source familiar with the changes. Johnny Gasser and Greg Harris, also from South Carolina, are no longer involved with the case, either. A person familiar with the departures told CNN that Trump wanted the attorneys to argue there was mass election fraud and that the election was stolen from him rather than focus on the legality of convicting a president after he's left office. Trump was not receptive to the discussions about how they should proceed in that regard. more...

By Darragh Roche

Former President Donald Trump officially left office at noon on January 20. He's now been a former president for nearly a week and there's been little indication of what he plans to do next. Many former presidents keep a low profile immediately after leaving office and Trump has been no exception. This may be due to the fact that he was permanently suspended from Twitter, his favorite social media site, as well as a slew of other platforms. Trump is now staying at his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida where he's been spotted playing golf and wearing his trademark "Make America Great Again" baseball cap. He spent a lot of time on the golf course during his four years in the White House. more...

By Danya Hajjaji

Former President Donald Trump's apparent plans to reside in his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida may be in contravention of a 1993 agreement with the Town of Palm Beach, which limits his stay to seven consecutive days and 21 days per year. After leaving Washington, D.C. hours before President Joe Biden's inauguration, Trump and his wife Melania moved to the Palm Springs estate. The change of address, which had taken place over a week ago since the couple's departure from the White House, may pose an issue in the long run. Upon his arrival in Florida, the former president was greeted by a small crowd holding signs such as "Pres. Trump Won" and "Welcome Home." Others, however, were not too enthused by his return. more...

By Bill Powell

Donald Trump's first week out of office ended well. On Tuesday only five Republican senators opposed a motion that declared it unconstitutional to impeach a former president—far from the 17 GOP votes that Democrats would need to find Trump guilty. "He was gratified, because that's certainly his view: that it's unfair and unconstitutional, and he knows it means there's no chance he'll be convicted," says a close friend who spends time with Trump in Mar-a-Lago. (This source and several other Trump friends and advisers requested anonymity in order to speak candidly.) Now Citizen Trump feels confident he'll emerge with a legal and a political win.

Trump has been considering two questions: how to contest the forthcoming Senate trial and how to maintain his political relevance over the next four years. He's getting differing opinions from family members, friends and advisers. Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, former chief White House political strategist Steve Bannon, and a handful of others are pushing him not just to defend against the charge that he incited the January 6th Capitol insurrection, but to use the Senate trial as an opportunity to re-litigate his claims of election fraud in key swing states. "Show everyone the receipts," is how Bannon puts it, referring to evidence of fraud that the Trump team claims to have. more...

Trump has thin skin even when he's golfing. Rick Strom breaks it down. Give us your thoughts in the comments below! video...

Thing 1/Thing 2: The president supposedly shoots a 73 -- which would him one of the best senior golfers in the world. His former partners say he has a secret: He cheats. A lot. video...


By Tara Subramaniam, CNN

Washington (CNN)While Donald Trump's first campaign for president was all about change, his argument for re-election was based on the premise that he had delivered on his initial promises and would continue to do so. The campaign slogan "Promises made, promises kept," became Trump's rallying cry. To be sure, Trump delivered on a number of initial campaign promises. He cut regulations, lowered taxes, withdrew from the Trans Pacific Partnership, pulled the US out of the Paris Climate Agreement and appointed hundreds of conservative justices. But in many cases, the reality behind the talking points and slogans fell short of what was actually promised. Here's a look back at how some of the most notable promises Trump made during his campaigns and throughout his time in office stack up against reality.

The wall
Building a wall on the US border with Mexico (and getting Mexico to pay for it) was one of Trump's flagship promises from his first campaign, though the specific parameters of the wall evolved over time, from 1,000 miles to over 500 miles. Throughout his presidency, Trump acted as if this was one accomplishment he had successfully crossed off the list, continuing to tout the hundreds of miles of wall his administration had built. But the figures he threw out, as recently as in his recorded farewell video, were misleading and didn't live up to what he initially promised. As of January 8, 2021, 453 miles of border barriers were built under the Trump administration, just 47 of which were erected where no barriers had existed before. Of the other 406 miles: 22 miles replaced previously existing dilapidated or outdated secondary barriers, 33 miles were new secondary barriers where there had previously been only primary barriers and 351 miles replaced previously existing primary barriers that the government considered dilapidated or outdated. While these replacement barriers are not insignificant, it's worth noting that Trump did not build a new wall. more...

By Nikki Schwab, Senior U.S. Political Reporter For Dailymail.com

As President Donald Trump has headed south, so has the see-and-be-seen nature of his Washington, D.C. hotel, once a hub for sightings of Trump family members and allies - and even the president himself. On Thursday night, six tables of people were seated in the expansive Benjamin Bar and Lounge, while one table of guests - and later another - dined at the upstairs BLT Prime by David Burke, alongside DailyMail.com.  Gone were fixtures of the Trump hotel: no Rudy Giuliani, no cabinet secretaries, no Republican congressman, no White House aides, no Trump children or in-laws, and no chance of an encounter with the president and his entourage. The property has the three-pronged problem of no more Trumps, COVID restrictions that had kept the restaurants closed for the past month - and signs that suggest business simply isn't wanted. A sign posted to fencing around the hotel's main driveway reads: 'Hotel Guests & Invitees Access Only'. For those who try to venture inside the Pennsylvania Avenue hotel, a guard pops out of a small shed at the edge of the driveway asking what business they have, even though reservations for BLT can be made on the popular OpenTable app. Still, the staff tried their best. more...

By Sonia Moghe, CNN

(CNN) A New York state judge on Friday ordered a tax firm that has worked with former President Donald Trump to turn over more documents to New York Attorney General Letitia James as part of her office's investigation into the Trump Organization. The supplemental order is one of several that Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron has made in the past month requesting that the tax firm Morgan, Lewis & Bockius turn over documents that James's office has requested as part of its investigation. The attorney general's office declined to comment. CNN has reached out to the Trump Organization and Morgan, Lewis & Bockius for comment. The Trump Organization has previously argued that the documents are protected by attorney-client privilege, but in December, Engoron ruled that "some but all" of the documents requested by the attorney general's office were privileged. more...

David Smith in Washington

The KGB ‘played the game as if they were immensely impressed by his personality’, Yuri Shvets, a key source for a new book, tells the Guardian. Donald Trump was cultivated as a Russian asset over 40 years and proved so willing to parrot anti-western propaganda that there were celebrations in Moscow, a former KGB spy has told the Guardian. Yuri Shvets, posted to Washington by the Soviet Union in the 1980s, compares the former US president to “the Cambridge five”, the British spy ring that passed secrets to Moscow during the second world war and early cold war. Now 67, Shvets is a key source for American Kompromat, a new book by journalist Craig Unger, whose previous works include House of Trump, House of Putin. The book also explores the former president’s relationship with the disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein.

“This is an example where people were recruited when they were just students and then they rose to important positions; something like that was happening with Trump,” Shvets said by phone on Monday from his home in Virginia. Shvets, a KGB major, had a cover job as a correspondent in Washington for the Russian news agency Tass during the 1980s. He moved to the US permanently in 1993 and gained American citizenship. He works as a corporate security investigator and was a partner of Alexander Litvinenko, who was assassinated in London in 2006. more...

Analysis by Stephen Collinson, CNN

(CNN) Former President Donald Trump may be gone from the White House but his legacy of catastrophic mistrust is poisoning Washington, dimming hopes of a unified effort to crush the pandemic before mutant viral strains take root. Nine days after newly sworn-in President Joe Biden told America that "every disagreement doesn't have to be a cause for total war," recriminations between the parties and the Republican meltdown are consuming Congress. It's now clear that the January 6 mob attack on Capitol Hill, while failing in its bid to reverse Trump's election loss, has utterly fractured the basic level of trust needed to make a political system function — at a critical national moment. In the quarter century of bitter political battles since former speaker Newt Gingrich's Republican revolution, Washington has never been this inflamed. more...

Emma Hurt

The Georgia Senate runoffs were the first test of former President Donald Trump's ability to bring his most fervent supporters to the polls without his name on the ballot. And after Republicans lost the seats and their U.S. Senate majority, in Georgia Republican circles, much of the blame has centered on the former president. Trump's refusal to concede his own race and constant questioning of the electoral system's integrity sowed confusion that likely dampened Republican turnout. But it was the campaigns' Trump-centric strategies that left them no room to break away, calling into question the future viability of the strategy in competitive states like Georgia. And with Trump showing no sign of heading toward a quiet post-presidential retirement, the dangers of embracing him too closely could risk other GOP candidates in 2022, when control of the House and Senate could again be up for grabs. more...


To the editor: Senate Republicans have said there should be no trial for former President Trump because of a whole host of reasons (“Forget constitutionalism. Rand Paul’s attempt to preempt Trump’s trial is just brute politics,” Opinion, Jan. 27). Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) says he is concerned about the trial tearing America apart. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) argues that a former president cannot be tried in the Senate. Perhaps Paul is correct. Trump is now an “ordinary” citizen and should be subject to the same justice that everyone else is. I believe there is ample evidence that Trump committed crimes as stated by the article of impeachment. Dozens of people who stormed the Capitol have been arrested. Now that Trump is an ordinary citizen, why has he not been arrested on suspicion of inciting an insurrection? more..

By Michael Warren, CNN

Former President Donald Trump is focusing his political energy on targeting Rep. Liz Cheney, the third-ranking House Republican, who voted for Trump's impeachment earlier this month. According to one source, Trump has repeatedly questioned his Republican allies about efforts to remove Cheney from her leadership position and run a primary candidate against her. He has also been showing those allies a poll commissioned by his Save America PAC that purports to show that Cheney's impeachment vote has damaged her standing in Wyoming, even urging them to talk about the poll on television. Trump's push comes as House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is working to shore up his relationship with the former president, including meeting with Trump at his Palm Beach resort Mar-a-Lago on Thursday. McCarthy and Trump discussed the midterm elections in 2022, according to a readout provided by Save America. The statement claimed Trump "has agreed to work with Leader McCarthy" on retaking the majority in the House for the GOP. more...

By Devon M. Sayers, Jamie Gangel and Ryan Nobles, CNN

(CNN) Former President Donald Trump and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy met Thursday at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, where the two Republicans discussed strategy for winning the House majority in next year's midterms, according to a readout of the meeting provided by Trump's Political Action Committee Save America. "They discussed many topics, number one of which was taking back the House in 2022," the statement read. "President Trump's popularity has never been stronger than it is today, and his endorsement means more than perhaps any endorsement at any time." The statement described the meeting as "cordial" and highlighted a stronger than expected performance among key House GOP candidates, though Democrats maintained their House majority with a slimmer margin.

McCarthy's visit comes at a tumultuous time for the Republican Party, following Trump's role ahead of the January 6 deadly riot storming the Capitol that led to his second impeachment just days before he left office. Ten House Republicans voted to impeach Trump and the Senate is expected to pick up the former President's trial next month. Still, all but five Republican senators voted earlier this week that such a trial was not constitutional, outlining just some of the divides in the party, as Democrats now control the legislative and executive branches. McCarthy released his own statement confirming Trump's account of the meeting, showing he's in lock-step with the former President. more...

*** Make no mistake about it Donald J. Trump interfered in the 2020 election on multiple levels in an attempted coup. ***

By Ed Kilgore

On December 1, I looked back at Donald Trump’s elaborate efforts to discredit voting by mail and cast doubt on a Biden victory before, during, and after Election Day and asked questions about why his coup had failed. I thought faulty planning, hesitation when it looked like Trump might win without stealing it, a failure to bring Republican state legislators in on the coup, and legal incompetence were all factors. But while I acknowledged Biden’s victory would not be complete until Congress confirmed it on January 6, I didn’t expect Trump was saving his worst offenses against democracy for the very end. Ultimately, Congress did confirm Biden’s win, the mob Trump incited was repulsed, and he has been impeached for his outrageous conduct. But it’s time to ask again: How close did we come to a stolen election, or at least a constitutional crisis? Here are some moments of real peril to consider: more...

Juliana Kaplan

After a tumultuous one-term presidency, a violent insurrection by supporters, and a retirement to Florida, the Trump name has attracted some negative connotations. And his real-estate holdings are feeling the heat: According to Curbed's analysis of a report from real-estate data firm UrbanDigs, Trump-branded Manhattan properties have lost more than 20% of their value since Trump first took office.

UrbanDigs — which looked at the seven luxury buildings in Manhattan that still bear the Trump moniker, and three that used to — found that even properties that formerly had Trump in their names lost 17% of their value since 2016. By comparison, the overall price per square foot decline in Manhattan over the same period was just 9%.

In 2016, the average price per square foot in seven NYC properties run by his real-estate behemoth, the Trump Organization, was $2,065, according to the report. In 2017, following Trump's election and inauguration, that figure sunk to $1,903; by 2020, it was at $1,619. That's a drop of 21% from its 2016 price. more...

Juliana Kaplan

The board of the Trump Plaza condominium complex in West Palm Beach, Florida, last week voted unanimously to remove "Trump" from its name, The Palm Beach Post reported on Tuesday. The vote came after the deadly insurrection by supporters of President Donald Trump in early January. Trump later became the first president to be impeached twice. It's not the first time the Trump Plaza complex has distanced itself from the Trump name. The Palm Beach Post reported last February that residents had voted not to replace Trump Plaza signs that were on top of the towers. And in June, street-level signs were removed amid the protests over the police killing of George Floyd. more...

By Adam Schrader For Dailymail.Com

Palm Beach officials are conducting a 'legal review' of Donald Trump's use of Mar-a-Lago as a residence because of a 1993 permit that restricts long-term stays at the resort. But Eric Trump, the former president's son and an executive vice president of the Trump Organization, said his father is within his rights to stay at the exclusive club as long as he chooses. Trump signed a 'special exception use' agreement in 1993 that let him convert the historic mansion into a for-profit social club. But the agreement includes a clause that limits stays to no more than 10 guests at one time, for no longer than seven days at a time, up to three non-consecutive visits a year. more...

Shawna Chen

Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) are forging ahead with a draft proposal to censure former President Trump, and are considering introducing the resolution on the Senate floor next week.

Why it matters: Senators are looking for a way to condemn Trump on the record as it becomes increasingly unlikely Democrats will obtain the 17 Republican votes needed to gain a conviction, Axios Alayna Treene writes. "I think it’s important for the Senate's leadership to understand that there are alternatives," Kaine told CNN on Wednesday. "If we can’t get to 67 votes for impeachment, there may be another way to hold President Trump accountable."

Details: The censure resolution will declare that the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol was an insurrection against the Constitution — an effort to stop Congress from "undertaking its constitutional duty to count electoral votes," according to Kaine. It finds that Trump "gave aid and comfort" to the insurrectionists by "repeatedly lying about the election, slandering election officials, pressuring others to come to Washington for a wild event and encouraging them to come up to Congress." more...

The Proud Boys, who have a history of scuffling with left-wing anti-fascist activists, have long been some of Trump’s most vocal, and violent, supporters, and he has returned the favor, telling them during one of the presidential debates to “stand back and stand by.”
By: New York Times
Written by Alan Feuer and Frances Robles

The leadership of the Proud Boys has come under increased scrutiny as agents and prosecutors across the country try to determine how closely members of the far-right nationalist group communicated during the riot at the Capitol this month and to what extent they might have planned the assault in advance, according to federal law enforcement officials. At least six members of the organization have been charged in connection with the riot, including one of its top-ranking leaders, Joseph Biggs. Biggs, a U.S. Army veteran, led about 100 men on an angry march from the site of President Donald Trump’s speech toward — and then into — the Capitol building. more...

By Marshall Cohen, CNN

Washington (CNN) The "Trump defense" is taking shape among some alleged Capitol rioters. One by one, die-hard supporters of former President Donald Trump are now blaming him for their actions that day, after being charged by federal prosecutors and facing possible jail time. A lawyer for one rioter who allegedly attacked police officers with a baseball bat said he was "inspired" by Trump's incendiary speech at a rally beforehand. The so-called QAnon shaman, whose horned bearskin headdress made him go viral, now claims he was "duped" by Trump, his lawyer said. At this point, the statements may be more of a public relations strategy than an articulated legal defense. But they dovetail with Democrats' case in favor of impeaching and convicting Trump; they agree that the former president incited the deadly insurrection that overwhelmed the Capitol on January 6. More than 150 people have been charged in connection with the attack, according to CNN's latest tally. more...

*** Republicans pledge full allegiance to Trump but not to America. ***

Once a producer of centrist Republicans like Arlen Specter and Tom Ridge, the state GOP now bears the MAGA stamp.
By HOLLY OTTERBEIN

PHILADELPHIA — Pennsylvania once stocked D.C. with a steady stream of establishment Republicans. Now, in the wake of Donald Trump’s reelection defeat, it’s better known for its GOP hard-liners — among them, Scott Perry, the congressman who recently made headlines for his behind-the-scenes efforts to assist Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election results in Georgia. The state GOP’s transformation from the party of former Sens. Arlen Specter and John Heinz — and Govs. Dick Thornburgh and Tom Ridge — to a bastion of Trump loyalists has been decades in the making. But the shift has perhaps never been so obvious as in the past two months when Republicans here were repeatedly thrust into the spotlight for their role in trying to override President Joe Biden’s victory. more...

Bill Bostock

Former President Donald Trump has opened a new "Office of the Former President" to announce and drive his future plans from his new base in Florida, as he remains barred from most social media. On Monday, a number of journalists received the first missive from the office, which pledged to carry on the work of the Trump administration. "Today, the 45th President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, formally opened the Office of the Former President," the statement said. "The office will be responsible for managing President Trump's correspondences, public statements, appearances, and official activities to advance the interests of the United States and to carry on the agenda of the Trump Administration through advocacy, organizing, and public activism." more...

By Elena Mejía and Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux

During most of Donald Trump’s presidency, Congress was in a state of persistent deadlock, passing relatively few big pieces of legislation. But the Republican-controlled Senate stayed humming, nonetheless — thanks to a steady stream of judicial nominees from the White House. After only one term, Trump filled 28 percent of vacant seats on the federal bench, including 27 percent of active federal district court judges and 30 percent of active appeals court judges, not to mention three Supreme Court justices. This figure is far higher than for other recent presidents in their first terms — by January 2013, for instance, Barack Obama had appointed just 17 percent of the vacant federal judge spots, and at the end of his first term, George W. Bush had appointed 21 percent. In fact, Obama was able to appoint only a slightly larger share of the federal bench in his eight years in office (31 percent) than Trump managed to do in his one term. more...

Multiple well-placed sources within the tabloid empire said the old boss is still calling the shots from retirement, and still helping his now-ex presidential pal.
Lloyd Grove

Here’s a question for the supermarket tabloid publisher formerly known as American Media Inc.: Is that a Pecker in your pocket or are you still hot for Trump? Yellow journalism purveyor and Donald Trump acolyte David Pecker ostensibly retired as chairman and CEO of the National Enquirer’s financially strapped parent company last August when AMI changed its name to A360 Media as it was being acquired by a marketer of face masks, hand sanitizer, gloves, disinfectant wipes, and vitamin supplements. But he has, allegedly, remained very much in the saddle. The revelation comes amid mass layoffs across A360 Media’s titles—which also include Star magazine, OK!, Globe, Examiner, In Touch, Us Weekly and Life and Style—with significantly curtailed severance packages being offered to a fired workforce that already took a 23-percent pay cut last March, when the COVID-19 pandemic began affecting print-media bottom lines. According to three well-situated A360 Media insiders, the 69-year-old Pecker, nominally just an “executive adviser,” is still driving editorial decisions from his Greenwich, Connecticut, estate and protecting his longtime pal Trump—much as he did during the 2016 campaign. more...

And the worst part? Trump can’t even tweet about it.
Asawin Suebsaeng

In recent days, former President Donald Trump has watched from afar as one of his most popular rivals for public attention has been unleashed by the Biden administration to, in part, disparage Trump’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. And the ex-president hasn’t even been able to tweet about it. Dr. Anthony Fauci, once a prominent figure on Trump’s coronavirus task force who’s now a top COVID-19 adviser to President Joe Biden, began his multi-day blitz to different news outlets that included openly expressing his relief that the old crew was gone and that he could now serve in the Biden administration. “One of the new things in this administration is if you don’t know the answer, don’t guess, just say you don’t know the answer,” Fauci told reporters at the White House on Thursday. He also stressed to journalists during that White House briefing that when he told them about how certain matters had markedly improved after Trump left office, he definitely “wasn’t joking!” more...

The announcement may indicate that the justices are looking to put the Trump era behind them.
By JOSH GERSTEIN

The Supreme Court has effectively shut down two lawsuits alleging that former President Donald Trump was violating the Constitution by profiting from his public office, the court said Monday. The announcement may indicate that the justices are looking to put the Trump era behind them and are not eager to wade into disputes about his personal or business affairs. The outcome in the cases also signals how ineffective the courts proved to be in policing Trump's alleged violations of the emoluments clauses, which prohibit any president from receiving funds related to their official duties from any foreign or state government. more...

The director also called the Capitol breach a ‘very sad day in the history of America’
Andrew Pulver

Spike Lee has likened Donald Trump to Hitler in an acceptance speech at a film critics awards show, adding that “the whole world is laughing at the United States”. The director made his comments when he accepted a special award from the New York Film Critics Circle for his short film New York, New York. The film was released in May 2020 and Lee described it as a “love letter to its people”. Lee said the comments about the Trump were recorded on 6 January, the day of the Capitol breach, which he said was “a very sad day in the history of America”. “We are living in a very serious time in America,” said the director. “His president, President Agent Orange, will go down in history with the likes of Hitler … all his boys, they are going down on the wrong side of history.” more...

By Peter Sblendorio | New York Daily News

It hasn’t been a banner year for former President Donald Trump. A banner, apparently flown near Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida on Sunday, ripped the ex-commander-in-chief, reading “TRUMP WORST PRESIDENT EVER,” according to images shared on social media. The banner can be seen trailing behind a plane in a video shared Sunday by Twitter user Daniel Uhlfelder. more...

Jacob Shamsian

On his way out of office, President Donald Trump issued more than 100 pardons, mostly to his personal friends and political allies. A number of those pardons were for people convicted of federal crimes linked to the Mueller investigation — including his former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, campaign chairman Paul Manafort, and advisors Roger Stone and George Papadopoulos. Trump was sure to malign Mueller's investigation in his pardon notices. The press release for Manafort's pardon, for example, said he was "prosecuted in the course of Special Counsel Mueller's investigation, which was premised on the Russian collusion hoax." Though the president's pardon powers are broad, a number of prosecutors and experts on clemency laws don't believe those people are off the hook just yet. more...

By Christina Zhao

Former Donald Trump lawyer Michael Cohen on Sunday expressed his belief that the ex-president had issued pardons for himself, his children and Rudy Giuliani before leaving office. In the early hours of Wednesday morning, Trump granted pardons to 73 individuals and commuted the sentences of an additional 70, including Steve Bannon and rapper Kodak Black. But his list did not include preemptive pardons for himself, his family or Giuliani. Cohen told MSNBC host Alex Witt that he started to ponder why the former president didn't issue pardons for himself, his children or Giuliani after "knowing Donald Trump for well over a decade." more...

By Alexis Benveniste, CNN Business

New York (CNN Business)Many once-loyal members of Mar-a-Lago are leaving because they no longer want to have any connection to former President Donald Trump, according to the author of the definitive book about the resort. "It's a very dispirited place," Laurence Leamer, historian and author of "Mar-a-Lago: Inside the Gates of Power at Donald Trump's Presidential Palace," told MSNBC host Alex Witt on "Weekends with Alex Witt" Saturday. He said members are "not concerned about politics and they said the food is no good." Leamer said he spoke to a number of former members who "silently walked out" after Trump left office. Trump moved to the Palm Beach, Florida, estate after his term ended last week. But without the cachet of the sitting president of the United States working at the estate, guests are finding Mar-a-Lago lost a step. There isn't any entertainment on the property during the pandemic, and Leamer added, "It's a sad place ... it's not what it was." more...

CNN's Randi Kaye reports on dropping revenues among various companies listed on former President Donald Trump's final financial disclosure form amid the Covid-19 pandemic and fallout from the attack on the US Capitol. video...

By Devan Cole, CNN

Washington (CNN)Republican Sen. Mitt Romney said Sunday that he believes holding an impeachment trial for former President Donald Trump is constitutional, a position that puts him at odds with some of his Senate colleagues. "I'll of course hear what the lawyers have to say for each side. But I think it's pretty clear that the effort is constitutional," Romney told CNN's Dana Bash on "State of the Union." The Utah Republican said that he's reviewed law review articles, which have shown that "the preponderance of the legal opinion is that an impeachment trial after someone has left office is constitutional." "I believe that what is being alleged and what we saw, which is incitement to insurrection, is an impeachable offense. If not, what is?" Romney said, referring to the impeachment article passed by the House earlier this month that charges Trump with inciting the deadly US Capitol riot on January 6. more...

By ALANNA DURKIN RICHER and COLLEEN LONG

WASHINGTON (AP) — The words of Donald Trump supporters who are accused of participating in the deadly U.S. Capitol riot may end up being used against him in his Senate impeachment trial as he faces the charge of inciting a violent insurrection. At least five supporters facing federal charges have suggested they were taking orders from the then-president when they marched on Capitol Hill on Jan. 6 to challenge the certification of Joe Biden’s election win. But now those comments, captured in interviews with reporters and federal agents, are likely to take center stage as Democrats lay out their case. It’s the first time a former president will face such charges after leaving office. more...

The latest back-and-forth is an example of the type of legal wrangling arising from his administration that will continue to dog Donald Trump.
By TOBY ECKERT

A federal judge on Friday ordered the Treasury Department to give attorneys for former President Donald Trump 72 hours' notice if it decides to turn over Trump’s federal tax returns to House Democrats. District Court Judge Trevor McFadden said the order would last for two weeks, amid uncertainty over how the change in administrations will affect House Ways and Means Chair Richard Neal’s long-running effort to get Treasury to turn over Trump’s returns. McFadden also ordered attorneys for all sides in the case to file a joint status report by Feb. 3. Former Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin refused to surrender Trump’s returns when Neal requested them in 2019. But with Democrat Joe Biden now in the White House, Treasury could decide to hand them over. In a hearing before McFadden, House Counsel Douglas Letter said the committee still wants the returns and hopes Treasury “will follow what we believe is a clear legal obligation” to provide them. more...

"He regrets very very much having...just been duped by the president," said Al Watkins, attorney for Jacob Chansley also known as the 'Qanon Shaman'
Author: PJ Randhawa

ST. LOUIS — The number of arrests associated with the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 continues to grow. On Wednesday, two men from Florida with ties to a far-right extremist group were arrested for taking part in the siege. More than 116 people from around the country are now facing federal charges. A few of those people arrested have ties to the Midwest region. That includes Richard "Bigo" Barnett - from Arkansas - who was seen reclining with his feet on Nancy pelosi's desk during the unrest. Closer to home, there's Emily Hernandez of Sullivan, Missouri. "She's a 21-year-old girl and she's got her whole life ahead of her. She knows this was obviously a mistake and she's ready to move past it," said Ethan Corlija, Hernandez's attorney. more...

The president’s oldest son, who still has a Twitter feed at his disposal, is following in his father’s footsteps
Andrew Naughtie

Permanently deprived of his Twitter presence, Donald Trump has left the presidency relatively quietly – but his most belligerent child has no intention of leaving his father’s successor alone. Even with the Biden administration less than 24 hours old, Donald Trump Jr is rolling out accusations and mockery directed at the new president and the Democrats in general. Having worked hard over the last four years to elevate himself as a scourge of the liberal left, Mr Trump clearly intends to continue playing the role despite his father’s loss. On Thursday morning, he shared a New York Times story about federal agents using anti-riot weapons on protesters in Portland, Oregon the night before. “Joe Biden uses tear gas,” he tweeted. “That’s how this is supposed to work right?” He also complained about supposed media bias against conservatives, a longtime hobby horse for him, his family and his father’s supporters. “Imagine how much easier it is to run as a Democrat,” he wrote, “when you have a multi billion dollar main stream [sic] media complex willing to lie and run cover for you at all times! Our media is broken.” more...

Candidates, donors and local party officials are already organizing against the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump.
By ALEX ISENSTADT

Former President Donald Trump’s supporters are mobilizing to exact revenge on the 10 House Republicans who supported impeachment last week, thrusting the GOP into a civil war just as party leaders are trying to move on from the Trump era. Pro-Trump Republicans are racing to launch primary challenges. The former president’s donors are cutting off the Republican incumbents. And Trump’s political lieutenants are plotting how to unseat them. The unrest shows how Trump is all but certain to cast a shadow over the Republican Party long after he’s left the White House. Trump has split the GOP, pitting his loyalists against those who say he incited the Capitol Hill insurrection and want to expunge him from the party. Whether the Trump-inspired primary challengers succeed is far from clear. Dislodging an incumbent is notoriously difficult, and Republican leaders are expected to move aggressively to protect their members. But the early activity illustrates the degree to which Trump’s staunch allies are determined to make his critics pay a price. more...

The president is hiring a respected legal hand with a familiarity on voting laws as a Senate trial nears.
By GABBY ORR and MERIDITH MCGRAW

Donald Trump appears to be finally getting serious about his upcoming impeachment trial. The former president has hired Butch Bowers, a longtime Republican attorney with experience in election law, to represent him when the Senate considers an article of impeachment, likely in a matter of days or weeks. he hiring comes after Trump opted against building out a war room or communications infrastructure to push back against impeachment when it was considered by the House. The former president had also initially struggled to find someone to lead his impeachment defense, as attorneys who previously represented him declined to sign on for a second trial and suggested his political opponents had a stronger case this time. “This is political theater and I am neither a politician or an actor. I don’t see a role for me as a lawyer,” said Alan Dershowitz, the Trump-allied attorney who joined Trump’s impeachment defense team last January. more...

The prophecies did not come true. And people are fuming about it.
By TINA NGUYEN and MARK SCOTT

The pardons went to Democrats, lobbyists and rappers, with nary a “patriot” among them. The mass arrests of Antifa campaigners never came. The inauguration stage at the Capitol, full of America’s most powerful politicians, was not purged of Satan-worshipping pedophiles under a shower of gunfire. Even the electricity stayed on. The moment the clock struck noon on Wednesday, Jan. 20, it was over — and the extreme factions of Trump’s diehard base were left reeling. Inauguration Day 2021 was supposed to be a culminating moment for the legion of online conspiracy theorists and extremists who have rallied around the now former president. But the lengthy list of prophecies they’d been told would eventually happen under Trump’s watch never came. In the days leading up to Trump’s departure from office, his online followers watched with horror as his pardons that were supposed to go to allies and supporters instead went to people who were inherently swampy: white-collar criminals convicted of tax fraud, family friends, Steve Bannon, even Democrat Kwame Kirkpatrick. more...

*** They need to convict Trump, if they give Trump, a pass the next Trump will be far worse because he knows there is no punishment for a president that commits crimes. ***

By American-Statesman Editorial Board

Imagine our nation’s future if President Donald Trump’s actions go unchallenged. Consider the precedents he will set. The losing candidate for president can spread wild conspiracy theories about a stolen election, even after recounts, court rulings and voting security experts have upheld the results. That candidate can tell supporters that the winner is illegitimate and must be stopped. That candidate can summon thousands to the nation’s capital and tell them, “If you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.” That candidate can order the crowd to march to the U.S. Capitol to stop the certification of election results — launching a deadly riot. We cannot undo the horrors of Jan. 6, the bloodshed and the beatings and the plumes of tear gas filling the halls of Congress. But we can hold the instigators accountable. We can insist on consequences that send a clear message: Attacks on our democracy — on the power of voters to choose their leaders — will not be tolerated. more...

Pelosi earlier said she’ll send impeachment article ‘soon,' which would trigger the start of the trial.
By BURGESS EVERETT, SARAH FERRIS and HEATHER CAYGLE

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is proposing to give former President Donald Trump two weeks to prepare his legal case for his impeachment trial, according to sources familiar with the matter. McConnell told Republican senators that he would propose to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer that the former president have until early-February to prepare his case, according to three people briefed on a conference call Thursday. The discussion of a two-week delay comes as congressional leaders attempt to work out details of Trump’s second impeachment trial, including the former president’s defense against the House’s charges that he incited the deadly insurrection at the Capitol earlier this month. more...

By Chris Isidore, CNN Business

New York (CNN Business) A growing number of businesses suddenly want very little to do with Donald Trump after he incited a mob to attack the Capitol. That could make it more difficult for the Trump Organization to do business after he leaves office. "I think it's a huge problem for him," said Michael D'Antonio, a CNN Contributor and a Trump biographer. "He created toxicity for an important part of his market. I don't know if some will ever come back. Most brands try to avoid controversy. I feel like he's forced the hands of the companies that decided to disengage." Since last week's siege of the US Capitol by Trump supporters, a growing list of banks and businesses have cut ties with him, citing violations of their rules against promoting violence — or concerns about associating their brands with Trump. Twitter and Facebook banned Trump indefinitely, taking away his biggest megaphones. Stripe is no longer processing credit card payments for his campaign, Shopify stopped operating online stores for the Trump Organization and the campaign and the PGA announced it is pulling a major golf tournament from one of his properties. more...

By Sophie Alexander, Bill Allison and Shahien Nasiripour

Donald Trump’s empire has been hit hard by coronavirus closures, with revenue from his Washington and Las Vegas hotels down by more than half. In his last financial disclosure form as president, Trump detailed the damage the pandemic has wrought, at a time when many tourism businesses are suffering from a lack of travelers. As president, the real-estate magnate resisted policies to slow the pandemic through mask-wearing, and insisted it remained safe for people to travel domestically. Revenue from the Trump hotel in Washington, which he had been trying to sell, fell to $15.1 million from $40.5 million a year earlier, according to the disclosure posted Wednesday. In Vegas, hotel-related sales were down to $9.2 million from $23.3 million. Another important property of Trump’s, the Doral Golf Resort in Miami, also saw revenues drop to $44 million from $77 million a year earlier. more...

Analysis: Donald Trump promised to end "American carnage" and "Make America Great Again." Four years later, he leaves with those goals far from reach.
By Jonathan Allen

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump did not build a wall or end American carnage or finish his term with a robust economy. His slogan was "Make America Great Again," but the lasting image of his term — rioters assaulting the U.S. Capitol and the country's republican form of governance, in his name — was anything but great. The failed coup — if it was organized enough to call it that — concluded a presidency that often used Orwellian tools of Newspeak and Doublethink to communicate. "This mob was fed lies," Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said Tuesday. "They were provoked by the president and other powerful people." Trump's lies, told up until the end in service of accumulating and maintaining power, were so conspicuous and dangerous that he was booted from the very social media sites that had built his base. Julian Zelizer, a professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University, said Trump shook the foundations of the country over four years. more...

By Kevin D. Williamson

Goodbye to Donald J. Trump, the man who wanted to be Conrad Hilton but turned out to be Paris Hilton. Well, that sucked. Memo to MAGA and all its myriad fellow-travelers: Maybe Death of a Salesman as presented by Leni Riefenstahl just wasn’t the show Americans were dying to tune into this season. And, while we’re at it, maybe turning your party over to Generalissimo Walter Mitty, his hideous scheming spawn, and the studio audience from Hee-Haw was not just absolutely aces as a political strategy. Think on it, Cletus. I know this whole thing still sounds like your idea of a good time — how’s that working out for you? Let me refresh your memory: On the day Donald Trump was sworn in as president, Republicans controlled not only the White House but both houses of Congress. They were in a historically strong position elsewhere as well, controlling both legislative chambers in 32 states. They pissed that away like they were midnight drunks karaoke-warbling that old Chumbawumba song: In 2021, they control approximately squat. more...

Social media platforms, banks, law firms and even the country’s largest golf association all cut ties with former president
Chris Riotta

Donald Trump’s legal troubles began mounting before he could even step foot out of the White House on Wednesday. Reports indicated early in the morning on Inauguration Day that federal prosecutors in New York had obtained some of his financial records amid an investigation into the former president and his private business. Those records were obtained despite the Supreme Court having not yet made a decision on whether Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr can demand eight years of Mr Trump’s tax records from his accounting firm, Mazars USA. While the district attorney’s office was still waiting for an order from the nation’s highest court on its subpoena powers, Bloomberg News reported the new developments meant investigators can begin verifying criminal allegations against the Trump Organization and former president. By the afternoon, as President Joe Biden was officially sworn in as the next commander-in-chief, reports said Mr Trump’s team of tax lawyers were officially severing ties with him. A spokesperson for Morgan Lewis said the global law firm was ending its relationship with Mr Trump and his business, which predated his 2015 presidential bid, according to The American Lawyer. more...

By David Brennan

American allies and enemies are welcoming President-Elect Joe Biden's inauguration and bidding farewell to President Donald Trump, who on Wednesday will head to Florida and refuse to attend his successor's swearing-in ceremony in Washington, D.C. Adversaries and partners alike expect Biden to be more predictable than his predecessor, easier to work with and easier to read. Biden has promised to revive multilateralism and repair the damage done by Trump to traditional American alliances; welcome news in Canada and Europe who faced withering criticism from the outgoing administration. Germany was a favored Trump target, the president dismissing Europe's most powerful nation as "delinquent" on military spending, self-serving on trade, and his frosty relationship with Chancellor Angela Merkel is well documented. more...

"We thought Trump was a bad joke, but five years later we realized he jeopardized nothing less than the world's most powerful democracy," Spain's prime minister said.
By Henry Austin

LONDON — It was a sigh heard round the world. With almost palpable relief, longstanding American allies welcomed Joe Biden as he was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States on Wednesday. Some signaled hopes for a radical change in the White House, particularly in its approach to climate change and the coronavirus pandemic. And a few took parting shots at Donald Trump and his nationalist, "America first" agenda. The European Union's top politician, Ursula von der Leyen, said that "after four long years, Europe has a friend in the White House." "This time-honored ceremony on the steps of the U.S. Capitol will be a demonstration of the resilience of American democracy," she added in a speech in Brussels. Spain’s prime minister, Pedro Sanchez, meanwhile, said that Biden represented "victory of democracy over the ultra-right." Then he took aim directly at the former president. "Five years ago, we thought Trump was a bad joke, but five years later we realized he jeopardized nothing less than the world's most powerful democracy," he said in a speech. more...

By MATTHEW LEE

WASHINGTON (AP) — China imposed sanctions on nearly 30 former Trump administration officials moments after they left office on Wednesday. In a statement released just minutes after President Joe Biden was inaugurated, Beijing slapped travel bans and business restrictions on Trump’s secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, national security adviser Robert O’Brien and U.N. ambassador, Kelly Craft. Others covered by the sanctions include Trump’s economic adviser Peter Navarro; his top diplomat for Asia, David Stilwell; health and human services secretary, Alex Azar; along with former national security adviser John Bolton and strategist Stephen Bannon. The sanctions are largely symbolic but underscore Beijing’s antipathy toward a U.S. administration it regarded as hostile. more...

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