The Colorado judge overseeing the first significant lawsuit to bar former President Donald Trump from the state’s 2024 presidential ballot on Friday issued a protective order prohibiting threats and intimidation in the case, saying the safety of those involved — including herself and her staff — was necessary as the groundbreaking litigation moves forward.
“I 100% understand everybody’s concerns for the parties, the lawyers, and frankly myself and my staff based on what we’ve seen in other cases,” District Judge Sarah B. Wallace said as she agreed to the protective order.
The order prohibits parties in the case from making threatening or intimidating statements. Scott Gessler, a former Colorado secretary of state representing Trump in the case, opposed it. He said a protective order was unnecessary because threats and intimidation already are prohibited by law.
Charlie Savage for the NYT:
The request by prosecutors that a judge impose a gag order on former President Donald J. Trump in the federal election-subversion case presents a thorny conflict between the scope of his First Amendment rights and fears that he could — intentionally or not — spur his supporters to violence.
There is little precedent for how the judge overseeing the case, Tanya S. Chutkan, should think about how to weigh strong constitutional protections for political speech against ensuring the functioning of the judicial process and the safety of the people participating in it.
It is one more example of the challenges of seeking to hold to account a norm-shattering former president who is being prosecuted in two federal cases — and two state cases — as he makes another bid for the White House with a message that his opponents have weaponized the criminal justice system against him.
“Everything about these cases is making new law because there are so many gaps in the law,” said Paul F. Rothstein, a law professor at Georgetown University and a criminal procedure specialist. “The system is held together by people doing the right thing according to tradition, and Trump doesn’t — he jumps into every gap.”
Zach Roth for News from the States.
Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey has been charged in a federal corruption indictment, the authorities said on Friday.
The indictment against Mr. Menendez, a 69-year-old Democrat who leads the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee, follows a lengthy investigation by federal prosecutors in Manhattan and comes nearly six years after his trial on unrelated claims of corruption ended with a hung jury.
The indictment, unsealed in Manhattan federal court, also names the senator’s wife of three years, Nadine Menendez, 56, and a prominent New Jersey real estate developer, Fred Daibes, accusing them of participating in the corrupt scheme. Wael Hana, a longtime friend of Ms. Menendez’s who founded a halal meat certification business in New Jersey, was also charged, as was a fifth person, Jose Uribe, a New Jersey businessman.
It has been known for some time that Mr. Menendez was under federal scrutiny, and he has said he was willing to assist investigators and was confident the matter would be “successfully closed.”
Republican candidates in competitive House and Senate races who align themselves with former president Donald Trump’s false claims that he won the 2020 election could face “considerable voter backlash” on Election Day, according to a new poll from WPA Intelligence.
Of respondents who said they are undecided on the generic congressional ballot, 51 percent said they would be less likely to support a candidate who believes the 2020 election was stolen from Trump. Just 12 percent said they’d be more likely to support a candidate who holds such beliefs.
Fifty-percent of all voters said they’d be less likely to support a candidate who espouses Trump’s false 2020 claims, while 26 percent said they’d be more likely to support such a candidate.
Among independents, that number rises to 65 percent who say they’d be less likely and drops to 18 percent who would be more likely to support such a candidate.
And among voters who are undecided on a hypothetical 2024 matchup between Trump and President Biden, 64 percent said they’d be less likely to support such a candidate, while just 5 percent said they’d be more likely to.
On Jan. 25, 2018, dozens of private jets descended on Palm Springs International Airport. Some of the richest people in the country were arriving for the annual winter donor summit of the Koch network, the political organization founded by libertarian billionaires Charles and David Koch. A long weekend of strategizing, relaxation in the California sun and high-dollar fundraising lay ahead.
Just after 6 p.m., a Gulfstream G200 jet touched down on the tarmac. One of the Koch network’s most powerful allies was on board: Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
During the summit, the justice went to a private dinner for the network’s donors. Thomas has attended Koch donor events at least twice over the years, according to interviews with three former network employees and one major donor. The justice was brought in to speak, staffers said, in the hopes that such access would encourage donors to continue giving.
That puts Thomas in the extraordinary position of having served as a fundraising draw for a network that has brought cases before the Supreme Court, including one of the most closely watched of the upcoming term.
Thomas never reported the 2018 flight to Palm Springs on his annual financial disclosure form, an apparent violation of federal law requiring justices to report most gifts. A Koch network spokesperson said the network did not pay for the private jet. Since Thomas didn’t disclose it, it’s not clear who did pay.