No TrumpsπŸ‘±‍♂️ Newsbites
Is Donald Trump's brand 'radioactive' or will he reinvent himself once again after his presidency?
Now that he's out of office, former President Donald Trump faces a daunting challenge: rehabilitating his brand after it's been tarnished by a tumultuous presidency that ended with riots at the U.S. Capitol and a second impeachment.

The good news for Trump: More than 74 million Americans voted for him and might be willing to stay at his hotels, golf at his resorts and buy his products, such as shirts, golf accessories and jewelry.

The bad news: Business experts say many companies are expected to keep him at a distance, treating him as bad for business – especially financiers that view the former president as a risky bet, given his history of defaulting on debts and not paying his bills on time.

“There’s a swath of businesses (for which) his brand is just radioactive,” said Erik Gordon, a business and law professor at the University of Michigan.

It’ll be especially hard for Trump to break through if he faces criminal charges over his conduct in office, such as those tied to his alleged role in provoking the Capitol insurrection. “He is seen as a criminal and, in fact, is one,” said Lisa Gilbert, executive vice president at Public Citizen, a watchdog group that has criticized Trump for profiting off of the presidency.
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The House will transmit its impeachment article on Monday, but Trump’s trial will wait two weeks.
Senate leaders struck a deal on Friday to delay former President Donald J. Trump’s impeachment trial for two weeks, giving President Biden time to install his cabinet and begin moving a legislative agenda before they begin a historic proceeding to try his predecessor for “incitement of insurrection.”

The House still plans to deliver its impeachment charge at 7 p.m. Monday evening and senators will be sworn in for the trial the following day. But Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York and the majority leader, said the chamber would then pause until the week of Feb. 8 to give the prosecution and defense time to draft and exchange written legal briefs.

“During that period, the Senate will continue to do other business for the American people, such as cabinet nominations and the Covid relief bill, which would provide relief for millions of Americans who are suffering during this pandemic,” Mr. Schumer said in a speech on the Senate floor.

The delay represented a compromise between the two party leaders in the Senate. Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the minority leader, had initially proposed delaying another week, until Feb. 15, to get the trial underway in person. He had cited the need for Mr. Trump’s legal team, hired only on Thursday, to prepare to give a full defense.
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Lawyer for the 22-year-old accused of stealing Pelosi's laptop blamed Trump for the Capitol riot, saying her client 'took the president's bait'
  • The lawyer of the woman accused of stealing Pelosi's laptop blamed Trump for the January 6 riot.
  • Riley June Williams "took the president's bait," Lori Ulrich told a Thursday court hearing.
  • Trump had told supporters to "fight like hell" moments before a mob stormed the Capitol.
On Sunday, the Justice Department charged Riley June Williams, 22, with entering a restricted building and disorderly conduct in relation to the January 6 riot.

Williams was arrested on Monday, and the Justice Department expanded the charges to include theft of government property and obstruction on Tuesday.

... A handful of his supporters who are facing charges have also told authorities that they were merely following Trump's orders.

Legal experts have said these statements by the president's supporters open him up to the possibility of criminal charges.
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A prominent lawyers' group filed an 18-page ethics complaint calling for Rudy Giuliani's law license to be suspended over his false voter-fraud claims
  • A non-partisan lawyers' group filed an ethics complaint against Rudy Giuliani on Thursday.
  • The group wants Giuliani's law license suspended while his work for Trump is investigated.
  • is lawsuits to overturn the election were "frivolous" and a "campaign of falsehoods," it said.
None of the dozens of legal cases Giuliani mounted in battleground states panned out, since he never provided proof of widespread voter fraud. On January 6, he also called for a "trial by combat" moments before a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol.

Shortly after the riot the New York Bar Association said it would consider expelling Giuliani, and a New Jersey congressman and New York State senator have said that they filed complaints to disbar Giuliani.

But according The New York Times, the latest complaint from the non-partisan group Lawyers Defending American Democracy "perhaps the most serious condemnation of Mr. Giuliani's conduct to date."

In a letter to the attorney grievance committee of the appellate division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, the group said Giuliani violated his oath as a lawyer to support the Constitution by spreading lies to undermine the results of the election.

While lawyers have the right to represent their clients "zealously" and "engage in political speech," the signatories said Giuliani crossed an ethical line by abusing the judicial process and engaging in deceit.

They said Giuliani "knew that his claims of widespread fraud were false," but continued to lend "his stature and status as a lawyer" to Trump's legal effort to overturn the results of the election.

In doing so, he undermined "the most fundamental of the rights protected by the Constitution ... the right to vote," they said.

They added that Giuliani's actions in trying to overturn the election "show Mr. Giuliani to be unworthy of the privilege of practicing law."
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10 huge hits to Trump's business from the pandemic that may be permanent
  • Donald Trump's income has dropped at least $138 million during the pandemic, which has ravaged the hospitality industry.
  • The Doral Golf Resort in Miami took the hardest hit with a $33 million drop in revenue.
  • Trump's businesses may never fully recover due to Trump's role in the attempted coup at the US Capitol.
America's billionaires got richer during the pandemic, with their collective wealth soaring to $4 trillion since March.

Former President Donald Trump is not one of them.

His net worth has dropped $500 million since he took office in 2017 and he's now worth $2.5 billion, according to Bloomberg, and his worldwide hospitality empire has taken a beating from the Covid-19 pandemic, which has led to 400,000 deaths in the US during his presidency.

According to his last financial disclosure form, which spans 2020 and the first 20 days of 2021, his total income is somewhere between $273 million and $308 million.

Here are Trump's 10 biggest business losers of the pandemic:
  • 1. Doral Golf Resort in Miami: $33 million loss in revenue
  • 2. Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C.: $25.4 million loss
  • 3. Trump Ruffin Tower LLC in Las Vegas, Nevada: $18 million loss
  • 4. Trump Turnberry in Turnberry, Scotland: $15.9 million loss
  • 5. Trump National Golf Club in Los Angeles, California: $9.6 million loss
  • 6. Trump International Golf Links & Hotel in Doonbeg, Ireland: $9 million loss
  • 7. Wollman Rink in New York City: $4.9 million loss
  • 8. Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey: $3 million loss
  • 10. Trump International Golf Links in Balmedie, Scotland: $2.9 million loss (tie)
  • 10. Trump Restaurants LLC in New York City: $2.9 million loss (tie)
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PayPal bans Jenna Ryan, the Texas realtor who took a private jet to the Capitol riot, after she used it to fundraise her legal defense
  • PayPal has banned Texas realtor Jenna Ryan from its platform.
  • Ryan had become famous after taking a private plane to DC, where she was charged with participating in the Capitol riot.
  • She said on Twitter that she raised $1,000 for her legal defense before the ban.
"PayPal has a policy to allow fundraising for legal defense purposes," a PayPal spokesperson told CBS News. "PayPal thoroughly reviews accounts, and if we learn that funds are used for anything other than legal defense, the account will be subject to immediate closure. We can confirm that the account in question has been closed."

Ryan drew widespread attention during the January 6 insurrection after posting photos and videos on Facebook of herself taking a private jet to Washington, DC, and advertising her skills as a realtor in Texas while going through the grounds of the Capitol.

"Y'all know who to hire for your realtor. Jenna Ryan for your realtor," she said just before going into the Capitol building, according to an FBI affidavit.

The affidavit also included a photo of her posing next to a broken window at the building and threatening to "go after" news organizations.

Ryan was charged on January 15. In an interview with a CBS affiliate after her arrest, she said she didn't partake in any violence and asked for a pardon from President Donald Trump. Trump didn't pardon her before leaving office on January 20.

She also said she was simply following Trump's instructions when she stormed the Capitol building.

... To raise money for her legal defense, Ryan posted to Twitter Thursday that she was raising money on PayPal after a different fundraising platform, Fundly, had already banned her. She said Fundly had called her "racist."

... On Thursday, Ryan posted that she was a believer of the QAnon conspiracy theory, which falsely holds that Trump is fighting against a "deep state" of satanic pedophiles.

"The truth of the matter is that Q was correct. Evil people will have their day. God's timing is perfect," she wrote on Twitter.
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CEOs are steering clear of Fox News' Maria Bartiromo and denying her interviews, sources say
  • Some CEOs are denying interviews to Maria Bartiromo as she gets ready to try out on Fox News' opinion line-up.
  • Sources say Bartiromo's non-critical Trump interview and controversial political statements make her too risky to be associated with.
  • Fox News refuted the claims, sharing a list of Bartiromo's sit-downs with the Goya CEO and healthcare bosses.
Maria Bartiromo is getting rebuffed by some in Corporate America as she prepares for an upcoming stint as a Fox News opinion anchor, according to seven people who work in major financial institutions and financial communications executives.

Bartiromo, who anchors "Mornings with Maria," on Fox Business, among other shows, is about to get a try-out on a new opinion hour on Fox News at 7 p.m. The new show is said to focus on economics and policy, according to an insider.

Bartiromo and her team have been making calls to sources to help book guests on the show, but several of these business executives say there is too much risk involved in appearing on air with her. Former Wall Street executives who used to be a layup for her have turned her down, they say.

"She's having trouble getting CEOs," said one person familiar with the situation.

... "Everything she does fuses into politics. She's become unmoored," said one financial industry executive.

A second financial communications executive had recommended a conservative-leaning client appear on Bartiromo's show "Mornings with Maria," but the client declined, citing the political overhang.

"She's really pro-Trump and her show became a political show, not a business show," this person said, adding that it was tricky for business executives to be sandwiched between politicians because the subject matter and questions could become unpredictable.

... While some others might have been willing to talk to the veteran anchor in the past, a financial communications executive said the Black Lives Matter protests and riots in the summer have made Bartiromo a no-go since September. In some cases, financial communications executives are recommending against appearing; in other cases, they say clients are deciding for themselves.

The anchor has been widely criticized for not pushing back hard enough on President Trump's claims of unsubstantiated election fraud claims.

Multiple business sources say that Bartiromo's softball Trump interviews, coupled with the upcoming proxy season, make her a risky bet. That's a time when shareholders get to question corporations on their policies. Shareholders and activists may question such things as diversity and inclusion programs, topics related to the environment, social responsibility and governance. Saying the wrong thing in an interview can spark an employee or shareholder backlash, or a lashing on social media.
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'He can't argue that nobody took him seriously': Lawyers representing the Capitol insurrectionists are building a damning case against Trump
  • Attorneys representing people who were arrested in connection to the Capitol riot are taking aim at former President Donald Trump.
  • They're laying the blame at his feet for inciting the deadly siege by spreading disinformation about the election and telling supporters: "If you don't fight like hell, you're not going to have a country anymore."
  • The allegations bolster House Democrats' impeachment case against Trump and expose him to more legal risk.
The rioters were adamant when they stormed the US Capitol: Joe Biden and the Democrats had stolen the 2020 election from Donald Trump. Congress wasn't doing anything to stop it, so it was up to patriotic Americans like themselves to save the country.

Now, facing a multitude of federal charges and lacking the protection of a presidential pardon, many of the insurrectionists are changing their tune and laying the blame for their actions squarely at the former president's feet. It's an inconvenient development for Trump, who is not only staring down a looming Senate impeachment trial but may also face criminal liability for his actions.

"Let's roll the tape," said Al Watkins, the defense attorney representing one of the defendants, Jacob Chansley. Chansley is more widely known as the "QAnon Shaman" and made headlines for roaming the halls of Congress while wearing a fur hat, carrying a spear, and covered in face paint. He was later arrested and charged with multiple felony counts including unlawfully entering the Capitol and engaging in disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.

"Let's roll the months of lies, and misrepresentations and horrific innuendo and hyperbolic speech by our president designed to inflame, enrage, motivate," Watkins told a local NBC affiliate in Missouri.

... Michael Sherwin, the acting US attorney in Washington, DC, said earlier this month that federal prosecutors aren't ruling out anything or anyone as they investigate the deadly riot — and that includes the now-former president.

When asked if prosecutors will examine statements Trump made at the rally before the siege, Sherwin replied, "Yes, we are looking at all actors here, not only the people that went into the building, but ... were there others that maybe assisted or facilitated or played some ancillary role in this."
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Biden Administration Tables Trump's Citizenship Data Request For Redistricting
The U.S. Census Bureau has stopped working on a Trump administration-initiated project to produce citizenship data that could have politically benefited Republicans when voting districts are redrawn.

Citing President Biden's executive order that revoked President Donald Trump's directive for federal agencies to share their citizenship records, the bureau updated its website Friday with a statement that says its work on anonymized data about the U.S. citizenship status of every adult living in the country has been "suspended indefinitely."

In a statement released Thursday, the bureau said the 2020 census data products "will not include information on citizenship or immigration status."
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From abortion care to LGBTQ rights, here's how Joe Biden is prepared to tear up Donald Trump's restrictive gender policies
  • The Biden administration has already started nixing multiple Trump-era policies on gender, transgender rights, and reproductive healthcare through executive order.
  • It's also planning to further entrench those rights into federal to show its commitment to gender equality.
  • Some actions will take more than an executive order or require Congress to get involved.
Here are key areas that Biden's team could or is already in the process of modifying.
  • Revoking the Mexico City policy
  • Reversing Trump's ban on transgender troops
  • Expanding anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people
  • Removing moral and religious exemptions to birth control coverage under Obamacare
  • Removing abortion restrictions from Title X funding
  • Lifting restrictions on the abortion pill
  • Changing Education Department policy on campus sexual assault under Title IX
  • Coaxing Congress to gut the Hyde Amendment
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Republicans are arguing that Biden violates his call for unity unless he pushes policies they like
  • Bringing a sense of unity to US politics was a central theme of President Joe Biden's inaugural address.
  • Now that he's working to implement his campaign promises, the GOP says Biden is undermining that call.
  • Critics say the GOP is misconstruing what Biden meant by "unity," and asking the president to abandon his agenda.
After broadly endorsing Trump's anti-democratic effort to overturn the election, Republicans are generally putting the onus of unifying the country entirely on Biden. Critics say the GOP is being disingenuous, and skirting accountability over the Capitol riot earlier this month.

"If they'll work with him, he will work with them," John D. Podesta, who was White House chief of staff under the Clinton administration and counselor to President Barack Obama, told the New York Times. "But it doesn't mean throw out your core program. And if he says, 'I think you went too far in cutting taxes on the wealthy,' and they say, 'Well, that means you're not serious about unity,' that's just a joke."

"The offense by the Republicans is to go out and say 'well we're gonna do unity, but we're gonna do unity on our terms. And anything that's not, well that ain't unity,'" former Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele said on MSNBC Thursday. "What Joe Biden has to do now is go, 'no, that's not how we do this'".

"There is a difference between Biden calling for unity as an opening theme and instantly conceding to Senate Republicans who have shown zero evidence of being willing to make a deal," Julian Zelizer, a Princeton University historian, tweeted on Thursday.

"The burden is on [Sen. Mitch McConnell], particularly after a GOP incited insurrection," Zelizer added.

... Based on Biden's framing, unity does not necessitate being on the same page on major issues at all times, but it does require a basic consensus to keep the peace even when people don't see eye-to-eye.
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Trial ahead, Trump turns to ethics lawyer for his defense
It’s up to Bowers, a South Carolina elections and ethics lawyer, to rise and defend Donald Trump as the Senate soon plunges into an impeachment trial unlike any other, centered on accusations that the former president incited the mob that rampaged through the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. For Trump, the first president twice impeached, the stakes are enormous: If convicted, he could be barred from holding public office again, ending any hopes of mounting another White House bid in 2024.

Trump turned to Bowers, a familiar figure in Republican legal circles, after other legal allies passed on the case. That’s a notable departure from his first impeachment trial in 2020, when he had a stable of prominent attorneys — including Alan Dershowitz, Jay Sekulow, who represented him in the Russia investigation, and Kenneth Starr — standing in his corner.

The first impeachment trial turned on charges that Trump improperly solicited Ukraine’s help for his reelection campaign. The Senate acquitted him of those charges. The new trial could hinge on broader issues of law, including “whether the Constitution even allows a post-impeachment action in the Senate,” said Sekulow, who is not participating in Trump’s legal defense.

Sekulow said he did not expect Bowers, who has years of experience representing elected officials and political candidates — including former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford against a failed impeachment effort that morphed into an ethics probe — to be hindered by having never defended a current or former president in a Senate trial.

“He’s an excellent lawyer with a tremendous reputation who understands the law and politics,” Sekulow said Friday.
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With Trump out of office, the Biden administration decides if Congress can have the ex-president's tax returns
  • A US judge on Friday gave the Biden administration two weeks to decide on a position in a lawsuit over Donald Trump's tax returns.
  • House Democrats sued to obtain the records.
  • A lawyer for House Democrats said they are issuing another subpoena to obtain Trump's taxes.
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A former Houston cop charged with storming the US Capitol changed his story in an interview with the feds. Now he says he was there to see 'historical art'
  • Ex-Houston officer Tam Pham allegedly told federal investigators he didn't enter the US Capitol.
  • When pressed, he changed his story and said he joined rioters on January 6 to view 'historical art.'
Tam Pham, the ex-Houston police officer charged in the January 6 attempted insurrection at the US Capitol, allegedly changed his story several times before fessing up to federal authorities, according to court documents.

First, he said he was traveling to Washington, DC, for business and went to Trump's rally spontaneously, and then said he did not enter the Capitol. Later, when confronted with photo evidence, he admitted to the FBI that he in fact ventured inside the Capitol during the chaos, but said he only wanted to take photos of "historical art."

Last week, before being federally charged for knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, Pham resigned from the Houston Police Department and expressed regret to the Houston Chronicle, repeating a similar rationale to the paper.

"I shouldn't have done it," Pham told the paper. "I was there to take pictures."

On January 14, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo announced that Pham had tendered his resignation after 18 years on the force. And on Wednesday, after Pham was detained, Acevedo issued a follow-up statement saying his department had worked with the FBI to investigate Pham, and that all of Pham's arrests and body cam footage would now be audited as well.

So far, more than a dozen off-duty police officers have been investigated or charged with allegedly taking part in the deadly riot at the Capitol on January 6.
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Trump reportedly worked with a Justice Department lawyer in a plot to appoint a loyalist as acting attorney general to help him overturn the election
  • Trump reportedly worked with a Justice Department lawyer to try and oust the acting attorney general.
  • He wanted to replace Jeffrey Rosen with lawyer Jeffrey Clark, The New York Times reported.
  • Trump backed down after a group of top DOJ leaders said they'd resign if Rosen was fired.
Donald Trump reportedly plotted with a Justice Department lawyer to oust acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen so he could place a loyalist who would put pressure on lawmakers in Georgia to overturn the election in his favor, The New York Times reported Friday.

The story recalls Trump's final efforts to hold on to power in the days leading up to President Joe Biden's inauguration.

According to The Times' Katie Benner, Trump and Jeffrey Clark were working on ways to stir up doubts about the election results. Rosen had not cooperated with Trump's alleged plan, prompting him to seek out a willing participant in Clark, The Times reported.

Top leaders at the Justice Department threatened to resign if Rosen was fired, which forced Trump to abandon the idea, but not before Clark and Rosen made their opposing arguments to Trump, the newspaper reported.
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Trump shuns 'ex-presidents club' — and the feeling is mutual
It’s a club Donald Trump was never really interested in joining and certainly not so soon: the cadre of former commanders in chief who revere the presidency enough to put aside often bitter political differences and even join together in common cause.

Members of the ex-presidents club pose together for pictures. They smile and pat each other on the back while milling around historic events, or sit somberly side by side at VIP funerals. They take on special projects together. They rarely criticize one another and tend to offer even fewer harsh words about their White House successors.

Like so many other presidential traditions, however, this is one Trump seems likely to flout. Now that he’s left office, it’s hard to see him embracing the stately, exclusive club of living former presidents.

“He kind of laughed at the very notion that he would be accepted in the presidents club,” said Kate Andersen Brower, who interviewed Trump in 2019 for her book “Team of Five: The Presidents’ Club in the Age of Trump.” “He was like, ‘I don’t think I’ll be accepted.’”

It’s equally clear that the club’s other members don’t much want him — at least for now.

Former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton recorded a three-minute video from Arlington National Cemetery after President Joe Biden’s inauguration this week, praising peaceful presidential succession as a core of American democracy. The segment included no mention of Trump by name, but stood as a stark rebuke of his behavior since losing November’s election.

“I think the fact that the three of us are standing here, talking about a peaceful transfer of power, speaks to the institutional integrity of our country,” Bush said. Obama called inaugurations “a reminder that we can have fierce disagreements and yet recognize each other’s common humanity, and that, as Americans, we have more in common than what separates us.”
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No TrumpsπŸ‘±‍♂️ Newsbites was formerly Trumpism 🐘 Newsbites.

or Trump-ism

Trumpism refers to the nontraditional political philosophy and approach espoused by US President Donald Trump and his supporters. The term Trumpism can also be used to directly refer to an outrageous or idiosyncratic statement made by Donald Trump.

Trumpisms are Bushisms on steroids.