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Tom of Temecula

Tom of Temecula's Journal
Tom of Temecula's Journal
May 17, 2024

Republican congressman files for divorce amid rumored relationship with House GOP colleague

Rep. Rich McCormick (R-Ga.) filed for divorce earlier this month and is rumored to be romantically involved with House colleague Rep. Beth Van Duyne (R-Texas). The Georgia Republican filed for divorce from his wife of 12 years, Debra Miller, on May 3, Gwinnett County court records show.

A mutual restraining order was also filed, as is standard in all divorce cases in the central Georgia county. McCormick filed for divorce from Debra Miller earlier this month, a court filing shows. McCormick, 55, and Van Duyne, 53, have been rumored to be an item since at least January, one source told The Post.

Another source said they’ve been canoodling for over a year. The Daily Mail first reported McCormick’s breakup and alleged relationship with Van Duyne.

In recent months, the pair were spotted “holding hands under the table” during a Republican Study Committee lunch, a GOP member told the outlet. The Post confirmed this account with a third source.


Family values from the party that wants to restrict access to divorce.

May 17, 2024

How Biden deprived Trump of a key debating asset

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump have agreed to two presidential debates — one hosted by CNN in Atlanta on June 27, the second hosted by ABC News on September 10. One of Biden's conditions for the two debates is that there will be no live audience — just the candidates and the moderators.

According to Politico's Jonathan Lemire, Biden's reelection team believes that an "empty studio" will "deprive their GOP rival of a major advantage when they face off." A Biden adviser, presumably interviewed on condition of anonymity, told Politico, "Trump feeds off the crowd, they give him life. We wanted to take that away." Trump, at his MAGA rallies, loves to work the crowd.

But according to Democratic strategist/consultant and former Barack Obama adviser David Axelrod, a controlled debate environment is an advantage for Biden. Axelrod told Politico, "I think it does matter. I mean, if you watch Trump, that is a big part of how he energizes himself. And so, I think that it will have some impact on him that he can't play to the crowd and doesn't have that kind of energy — that sort of modular energy that a crowd offers."

Axelrod continued, "I think that the Biden people, they won in negotiations on three points: It's a debate without a crowd, it's a debate without any third-party candidates, and it's an early debate. And those three things make it about as good a situation as he's gonna get."


May 17, 2024

Michael Cohen Buries Trump in One Exchange on Hush-Money Trial

Michael Cohen’s latest testimony just added another dent to Donald Trump’s crumbling legal defense in his hush-money case. While on the stand Thursday, Cohen revealed that he didn’t do anything without Trump’s knowledge and his send-off, even if the excessive measures infuriated his campaign. That extra insurance was largely out of fear of any repercussions for doing or saying something on Trump’s behalf that the testy former reality TV star might not approve of.

During a string of questions probing Cohen’s relationship with the press, Trump attorney Todd Blanche asked if Cohen had ever answered a question without first checking in with Trump. “It was my routine to ask him,” Cohen said, noting that Trump would “blow up” at him if Cohen got something incorrect, potentially costing him his job. “So over the course of nine and a half years, you never commented on a story on your own?” continued Blanche. Cohen testified that, for an initial comment on the story, he would “always get a comment to something” from Trump. But after that, he would effectively copy and paste the response to subsequent outlets running similar stories.

It’s just another instance in which Cohen has undercut Trump’s legal defense, which has attempted to frame Trump as a boss totally unaware of the hush-money payments and that the funds for the payments came from Cohen alone. Instead, Cohen has repeatedly outed Trump as a “micromanager” who was aware of his every move, telling the court on Monday that the pair spoke “every single day, and multiple times a day.”

And, if they weren’t able to communicate one-on-one, Cohen said he would often communicate with Trump via one of his other close confidants, including his former assistant Rhona Graff, Trump Organization employee turned director of Oval Office operations Keith Schiller, Trump’s children, or Hope Hicks.


May 17, 2024

Trump lawyer's 'meaningless' grilling of witness had 'little bearing on the facts': expert

Former President Donald Trump's defense lawyer Todd Blanche is engaging in "meaningless" histrionics with his latest cross-examination of Michael Cohen, argued Pace University law professor and former New York prosecutor Bennett Gershman in conversation with Salon's Marina Villeneuve.

Cohen, Trump's former attorney and fixer, has been the star witness of the Manhattan criminal hush money trial, and has been subject to several days of intense cross-examination.

“The defense is engaged in a theatrical play that has little bearing on the facts,” said Gershman. “The heavy-throttled attack by the defense on Cohen’s credibility, his motives for testifying against Trump, and his despising Trump, is really meaningless, as the prosecutors will argue in summation to the jury. Everything Cohen says about adulating, and then despising Trump, is bolstered and corroborated by massive other evidence.”

Moreover, Gershman, added, Cohen was really just an "extra" whose centrality to the trial is a bit overstated: jurors already have “the ‘catch and kill’ scheme to bury the Stormy Daniels story by buying her off; the payment to Daniels; the voluminous records showing the way the payment was falsely disguised as a legitimate business expense; the fact that the payments were legally required to be documented as political campaign expenses” — all through independent evidence unrelated to Cohen.


May 17, 2024

Bobo Brags That Trump Was Tested For 'His Cognitive Dissonance' Or 'Dissidence' -- Or Something

I never knew that a regular session of the House Oversight Committee could be so entertaining but that was because I was born too many years before the Era of Trump. If I was about 12 years old right now, this would make total sense to me. Lauren Boebert already regaled the House with her opinion on how “pretty” Donald Trump looks when he sleeps (you’re right, I should have issued a trigger warning. I’m sorry you threw up on your laptop just now. Forgive me.) but that was just the warmup.

Then the 4-time GED taker displayed exactly the qualities that earned her that title. She’s too damn ignorant to know (or care) that she even said something stupid. And then there are those who wonder if she said “dissidence” and that’s a whopper, too. Dissidence is protest against official policy and Trump breaks laws like other people breathe. That’s in his nature.

“Dis” something. Disappear, disco, disaster. Sheesh, you guys are soooooo picky! Lauren’s doing her best! Maybe Bobo is kissing ass this heavy in order to be considered for VP. Ya spose? My God, that would be the Ticket From Hell. But hey, it could happen. Remember, there is no low they won’t go, and it always gets worse. Those are the two guiding principles of Trump world.

Uh, they do cognitive testing. Cognitive dissonance is when someone holds conflicting beliefs. And once again, let us rejoice that the GOP candidate for president in 2024 passed the same cognitive test as Koko the Gorilla. Do you suppose we could give the nuclear codes to Koko?


May 16, 2024

The 'unmistakable sign' Alvin Bragg believes Trump trial is a slam dunk

Former federal prosecutor Glenn Kirschner is convinced Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg is so pleased with Cohen's performance on the witness stand in former President Donald Trump's criminal hush money case that he's not calling any more witnesses. "There is one unmistakable sign that the prosecutors in Donald Trump's criminal case up in New York believe that Michael Cohen is doing extremely well on the witness stand," Kirschner teased.And that "one sign" is the fact that they signaled they'll rest after Cohen.

"I think one of the most interesting things we learned at the end of the trial day on Tuesday was that the prosecution announced that Michael Cohen would be their final witness," he said. "Earlier on, they suggested there might be other witnesses after Michael Cohen, but it seems pretty clear that the prosecution thinks Michael Cohen is doing so well on the stand that he's going to be the last witness the jury hears from before the prosecutors rest their case."

Bragg's team has spent the past few weeks trying to prove that Donald Trump falsified business documents to coverup hush money payments to an adult movie star who claims to have had a sexual relationship with him. The then-presidential candidate was trying to hide it from voters in the 2016 election, they argue.

Cohen had been Trump's devoted attorney-fixer turned outspoken adversary and played a central role as a bagman in buying the silence of — Stormy Daniels. Trump stands accused of using The Trump Organization to have “grossed up” Cohen’s reimbursement totaling $420,000 for the money paid to Daniels and claim it as legal expenses, according to prosecutors. Trump denies wrongdoing or having the affair.


May 16, 2024

Matt Gaetz, Lauren Boebert Brutally Roasted Outside Trump Trial

Some of Donald Trump’s biggest supporters in Congress showed up at his hush-money trial on Thursday. They didn’t plan on being publicly embarrassed. Representatives Matt Gaetz and Lauren Boebert were among those who made the trek to Manhattan, ostensibly to support the former president. They quickly found themselves the object of scorn from local New Yorkers.

The audience at the trainwreck press conference also heckled the members of Congress, even chanting “Beetlejuice” at Boebert, a reference to her inappropriate behavior at a live theatrical performance of Beetlejuice last fall. To make matters worse, the heckling came as she tried to get some microphone time as her colleagues quickly left her behind.

The MAGA politicians had other plans for their New York trip. Perhaps they wanted to get out of their actual legislative work, to tease a second insurrection, to make a cringey campaign ad with Trump, or to help him skirt his gag order (which would be illegal). Maybe they think their support will help the presumptive Republican nominee for president’s self-esteem, as his trial is certainly not going well for him.

Trump is facing 34 felony charges for allegedly falsifying business records with the intent to further an underlying crime by using his former fixer, Michael Cohen, to pay off adult film actress Stormy Daniels to cover up an affair before the 2016 election. Each day of the trial brings more damning testimony and evidence against him.


May 16, 2024

Trump Appears To Be Using Lauren Boebert To Violate Gag Order

Rep. Lauren Boebert showed up in court with Trump, and she is posting on line what appears to be instructions on violating the gag order. Boebert posted:

They may have gagged President Trump.They didn’t gag me. They didn’t gag the rest of us. Why is that fraud Michael Cohen allowed on TikTok with a shirt of Trump behind bars but Trump can’t speak out? Why is Merchan’s daughter allowed to fundraise for every Democrat under the sun? This is a pathetic political witch hunt! I wonder if I’ll run into Judge Merchan’s daughter here in court today. She’s probably too busy being paid millions and millions of dollars by Democrat campaigns all across the country and won’t be able to make it. She’s likely busy working for Shifty Schiff again today… Michael Cohen is a convicted liar yet he’s supposed to be believed now? He sits on TikTok shilling merch of Trump in jail but we’re supposed to take his word as credible? Cohen paid Stormy Daniels off without Trump’s knowledge. That’s from Cohen’s own attorney. President Trump is being blamed for Cohen’s deeds.

These are things that if Trump would have said them would have gotten him jailed. Matt Gaetz is also in court with Trump and Boebert this morning, so it appears that the ex-president has a strategy of using people like Boebert and Gaetz and mouthpieces to get around the gag order.

Trump can’t get more than his son Eric to show up in court for him, but he has got the likes of Gaetz and Boebert. If Boebert is making an impression on the jury, it may not be a good one.


May 16, 2024

Trump's Lawyer Utterly Tanks During Additional Questioning Of Michael Cohen At Trial

Well, things were going seemingly quite poorly for Trump lawyer Todd Blanche this Thursday as questioning of former Trump ally Michael Cohen continued amid the ongoing New York City trial of the ex-president on charges of falsifying business records.

Legal expert Norm Eisen was among those providing updates. “OMG, Blanche asks if can approach and discuss all the objections sustained,” Eisen relayed after a series of objections from prosecutors received the judge’s backing. “Judge: (quietly, shaking head) no.Smackdown. Blanche is not up for this.”

Earlier portions of Cohen’s time under questioning specifically from Trump’s defense team also went poorly for Donald’s lawyers, with — again — Blanche being upbraided by the judge after some of his initial questions focused on alleged animosity from Cohen towards… Blanche, rather than the defendant (Trump). The judge put Blanche on the spot at the time, insisting that the questions needed to focus someplace other than alleged bias against the lawyers.

“I did not think it could get worse that Tuesday’s start to cross for Blanche,” Eisen added. “Maybe its not worse, but it ain’t much better. He needed to come out swinging, impose his will on Cohen, rattle him & make impression on jury. Not happening.”


May 16, 2024

Analyst Suggests GOP Senators Could Face Subpoenas After Showing Up For Trump

Eric Lisann, a former prosecutor, suggested in new commentary on social media that Republican Senators who have shown up to support former President Donald Trump during his ongoing criminal trial in New York City on charges of falsifying business records could face subpoenas connected to some of their surrounding commentary.

Specifically, Lisann was discussing the possibility of pursuing consequences against Trump on the theory that he was effectively behind some of the antagonistic comments made by these figures, deemed “surrogates” by Trump himself. Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.), for instance, seemingly lambasted the jury, questioning even their citizenship. And in a later Newsmax interview, Tuberville confirmed that he’d been interested in effectively getting around an active gag order on Trump that protects jurors, witnesses, and others.

The order also blocks Trump from directing that others make covered comments on his behalf, so if he’s tied to the diatribes, that could be a problem for Donald. He was already threatened with jail-time for future violations of the order, with presiding Judge Juan Merchan — known in local legal parlance as a Justice — bemoaning that the maximum in financial penalties was just $1,000 per violation, something obviously not going to leave a huge impact on Trump, considering his wealth.

“The judge, Justice Merchan, can order Trump to show cause why he should not be held in contempt. The DA can request that also. Subpoenas could go out to Scott, Vance, and Tuberville. But they think it would be a distracting circus and it could well be. That doesn’t mean though it is less problematic than doing nothing,” Lisann posted.


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