Recording surfaces: Trump urged Michigan officials against 2020 certification.

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    Judge shields evidence in Trump election suit.
    Judge shields evidence in Trump election suit.

    A recording from November 17, 2020, has surfaced, revealing former President Donald Trump pressuring Michigan officials Monica Palmer and William Hartman not to certify the 2020 election results in favor of Joe Biden. In the recording, Trump, along with RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, urged the officials to withhold their signatures on the certification document, suggesting they would look “terrible” if they signed it. Despite having previously voted to certify the legitimate results, Palmer and Hartman did not sign the document. This recording, along with Trump’s infamous call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, adds to the evidence suggesting Trump’s direct involvement in what is alleged to be a plot to “defraud the United States.” In related news, Trump’s former lawyer Rudy Giuliani filed for bankruptcy after a federal judge ruled he must pay a $148 million defamation judgment to two Georgia election workers. In the bankruptcy filing, Giuliani listed assets between $1 million and $10 million, with debts ranging from $100 million to $500 million.

    Following District Judge Beryl Howell’s order for Rudy Giuliani to immediately pay a $148 million defamation judgment to Georgia election workers Shaye Moss and Ruby Freeman, Giuliani filed for bankruptcy in New York. In the submission to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, Giuliani listed assets between $1 million and $10 million, with debts ranging from $100 million to $500 million, including the $148 million owed to Moss and Freeman. The bankruptcy filing also identified Hunter Biden as a creditor, without specifying the amount owed. Howell questioned Giuliani’s claims of financial difficulties, suggesting he may be attempting to evade payments to the election workers. Moss and Freeman have filed another lawsuit against Giuliani to prevent him from repeating false election claims. Giuliani still faces significant legal challenges in Georgia, where he is charged with 11 felonies related to the 2020 election. The defamation judgment highlights the courts’ dismissal of Trump’s election falsehoods, which he continues to promote.

    Colorado Supreme Court Ruling

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    On Tuesday, December 18th, the Colorado Supreme Court issued a groundbreaking ruling, invoking Section 3 of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, to remove former President Donald Trump’s name from state ballots, setting the stage for a potential appeal to the highest court. Meanwhile, in the second defamation lawsuit brought by columnist E. Jean Carroll, Trump’s lawyers attempt to prevent Northwestern University marketing professor Ashlee Humphreys from testifying. Following a $148 million civil judgment against Rudy Giuliani, Georgia election workers Ruby Freeman and Wandrea “Shaye” Moss filed another lawsuit against him, aiming to prevent him from reiterating false claims. Stay updated on the latest legal developments involving Trump as he seeks reelection in 2024.

    The Colorado Supreme Court, in a 4-3 ruling on Tuesday, has barred former President Donald Trump from appearing on presidential primary ballots based on its interpretation of Section 3 of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which disqualifies those who have “engaged in insurrection” from holding office. The court, in its decision, stated that Trump is disqualified from the presidency under this section. However, the ruling is stayed until January 4, giving Trump’s lawyers time to appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court in a case brought by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) on behalf of Colorado voters.

    Previously, a lower court judge acknowledged that Trump had “engaged in an insurrection” related to his attempts to overturn the 2020 election but had not applied Section 3 to the presidency. The Colorado Supreme Court has now asserted that Section 3 does apply.

    This decision adds to the ongoing 14th Amendment challenges in various state courts regarding Trump’s inclusion on ballots. The ultimate resolution by the U.S. Supreme Court will determine whether Trump can seek the presidency again, particularly in light of his actions leading up to the January 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol.

    In the ongoing defamation case brought by former Elle columnist E. Jean Carroll against Donald Trump, the former president’s lawyers are seeking to prevent Northwestern University marketing professor Ashlee Humphreys from testifying. Trump’s legal team filed a request with Judge Lewis Kaplan to “exclude” Humphreys’s testimony in the second defamation case. Humphreys had previously testified in the first civil case, detailing the financial damage caused by Trump’s alleged sexual assault and defamation, which resulted in a $5 million judgment for Carroll. Trump’s lawyers criticized Humphreys’s methodology for calculating damages, claiming her estimations were inflated and unreliable. Notably, Humphreys was also a witness in the defamation trial of Rudy Giuliani, where the jury awarded Georgia election workers Ruby Freeman and Wandrea “Shaye” Moss $148 million. The significance lies in the repeated acceptance of Humphrey’s damage estimates by juries in high-profile cases against Trump. The second defamation trial is scheduled to commence on January 15.

    Georgia Election Interference

    On Monday, December 18th, an appeals court rejected former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows’ attempt to move his Georgia election interference case to federal court. In a countermove, lawyers for former President Donald Trump filed a document with Georgia Judge Scott McAfee, urging the dismissal of charges against Trump, arguing that they infringe on his “core political speech.” Simultaneously, in the federal election interference case, Trump’s legal team requested an appeals court reconsider their previous ruling that upheld a gag order preventing Trump from discussing witnesses, prosecutors, and courtroom staff. They claim that this ruling conflicts with decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court. Stay updated on the latest legal developments surrounding Trump’s potential return to the White House in 2024.

    In a filing on Monday, former President Donald Trump’s lawyers requested that Judge Scott McAfee dismiss the election interference charges against him, asserting that the charges violated his “core political speech.” The filing argues that the claim that the 2020 election was rigged and stolen is protected by the First Amendment, whether made in a public speech or communicated to government officials in an act of petitioning or advocacy. Trump’s attorneys, Steve Sadow and Jennifer Little, contend that the First Amendment supports Trump’s request to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” enough votes to overturn President Biden’s victory.

    Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has charged Trump with 13 felony counts related to his alleged role in a scheme to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election in Georgia. This legal maneuver by Trump’s lawyers aims to use the First Amendment as a shield against prosecution, a strategy similar to the attempt to have federal election interference charges dropped on the grounds of presidential immunity. The decision by Judge McAfee will center on whether Trump’s words in the Georgia case were protected expressions of opinion or constituted directing a conspiracy that violated state laws.

    Donald Trump’s lawyers requested a federal appeals court reconsider its decision regarding the partial gag order issued by Judge Tanya Chutkan. The filing, spanning 22 pages, argues that the gag order on Trump “conflicts with decisions of the Supreme Court and other Circuits” and calls for consideration by the full court. Trump’s legal team also asked for the gag order to be lifted until the court decides on the matter. In a unanimous ruling last month, a three-judge court of appeals panel upheld most of Judge Chutkan’s order, which restricted Trump from discussing witnesses, prosecutors, court staff, and their family members. This ongoing legal maneuver underscores Trump’s efforts to contest restrictions on his speech as part of the proceedings related to the events of January 6, 2021.

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