No TrumpsπŸ‘±‍♂️ Newsbites
The Trump campaign's nondisclosure agreements have been voided by a court, opening the door for whistleblowers
  • A federal judge voided a nondisclosure agreement signed by members of Trump's campaign in 2016.
  • The judge ruled that the NDA was too vaguely worded to be legally enforceable.
  • The ruling was in a case brought by Jessica Denson, the 2016 campaign's Hispanic outreach director.
Gardephe's ruling said the provision was "much broader than what the Campaign asserts is necessary to protect its legitimate interests, and therefore is not reasonable."

"The non-disclosure provision's vague, overbroad, and undefined terms also render it unduly burdensome," the ruling said.

The ruling said it was "difficult if not impossible" for campaign employees "to know whether any speech might be covered by one of the broad categories of restricted information" or "whether that speech might relate to one of the several hundred potential subjects of the non-disclosure provision."

The ruling came in a case brought by Jessica Denson, who was the campaign's Hispanic outreach director. She argued that the nondisclosure agreement violated her First Amendment rights by preventing her from criticizing Trump "forever," Insider's Oma Seddiq reported.

Denson had separately filed a lawsuit against the campaign in 2017 alleging sexual harassment and discrimination. She was ordered to pay $50,000 to the campaign, which had argued that she violated the NDA. She then filed the NDA class-action lawsuit.

A motion for summary judgment in the NDA case filed in July on behalf of Denson and other campaign staffers said the agreement, which has a nondisparagement clause, was "plainly conceived" as a "tool to silence critics of the President, and it has repeatedly been used to that end."

Denson told Politico she believed that the NDAs, which Trump has long used to silence employees and critics, had stopped many former campaign staffers from speaking out.

"Just the terms of the NDA were wildly restricting and it completely stifled public debate, truthful public debate about the Trump campaign and presidency, so this is a massive victory," she said.

"NDAs like this are part of the reason why we ended up with a Donald Trump candidacy and presidency in the first place."
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A life coach and essential-oils enthusiast was arrested over the Capitol riot after her boyfriend posted on Facebook: 'Stormed the Capitol. Pray for us all'
  • Elizabeth Williams and her boyfriend Bradley Bennett were arrested in connection to the Capitol riot.
  • Williams is a self-styled lifestyle coach and essential-oils guru, The Daily Beast reported.
  • And Bennett posts regularly about the QAnon conspiracy theory, the criminal complaint said.
Elizabeth Rose Williams of Kerrville, Texas, and her boyfriend Bradley Stuart Bennett were arrested last week, and charged with violent entry and disorderly conduct, and knowingly entering a restricted building, The Daily Beast reported.

According to a recently unsealed criminal complaint against the pair, several tipsters turned the couple into the FBI after seeing Bennett's multiple social media posts about storming the Capitol, which have since been deleted.

... The FBI complaint included several pictures and screengrabs from videos and surveillance footage showing the two inside the Capitol during the riot.

"TODAY WAS A REVOLUTIONARY MESSAGE. WE WON'T GO AWAY. WE WILL FIND VICTORY!" Bennett said in one social media post, according to the complaint.

... Williams' website says she specifically sells Young Living essential oils to her clients, a multilevel-marketing company that Insider revealed in an investigation last year was misleading its customers with false claims about essential oils being able to cure cancer and the coronavirus.

Insider's Nicole Einbinder has reported on how the company's founder, Gary Young, had been convicted of illegally posing as a health practitioner.
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Trump-era stimulus let corporations claim $14 billion in tax refunds, watchdog says
  • Tax breaks included in the CARES Act let corporations receive $14 billion in refunds, the GAO said.
  • Roughly 1,200 firms received refunds worth more than $1 million, according to the Wednesday report.
  • The CARES Act won bipartisan support, but Democrats have since slammed the breaks as poorly targeted.
The $2.2 trillion stimulus package signed by President Donald Trump in the early stages of the pandemic included a swath of measures aimed at reducing tax burdens for struggling businesses. Tenets included carrybacks for business losses and refunds linked to the Alternative Minimum Tax.

The IRS has already received more than 41,000 cases from businesses looking to access refunds through either, or both, of the two tax breaks, according to a GAO report. Roughly $14 billion in related refunds were approved by the end of last year. Of that, about $11 billion has already been distributed.

Yet while the tax breaks included in the CARES Act were touted as ways to keep small businesses afloat, many of the companies filing for relief are winning massive refunds. Nearly 3,000 companies filing for refunds received between $100,000 and $999,000, according to the report. And roughly 1,200 firms got refunds worth more than $1 million.

... The GAO's report suggests the $14 billion in approved refunds are the tip of the iceberg for CARES-related tax breaks. IRS officials said in late January they received more than 12,000 more applications for carrybacks and credit refunds, but that they aren't yet sure how many are related to the CARES Act. A backlog of revised tax returns could also add to the total amount refunded to corporations, the GAO said.
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New York prosecutors subpoenaed the bank records of the Trump Organization's longtime CFO
  • The Manhattan DA's office subpoenaed the bank records of Trump Org. CFO Allen Weisselberg, NYT reported.
  • The DA is investigating if the Trump Org. falsely reported the value of properties for loan and tax purposes.
  • Investigators subpoenaed Weisselberg's records to get him to cooperate because "he knows where the bodies are buried," said one former prosecutor.
Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance Jr. has had the Trump Organization in his sights since allegations first surfaced that members of the real-estate company may have helped facilitate illegal hush-money payments in 2016 to women who claimed to have had affairs with Trump in the 2000s.

Trump's former lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen, pleaded guilty in 2018 to violating campaign-finance laws while doling out the hush-money payments, which he said were made "at the direction of and with the knowledge of" Trump, who was a presidential candidate at the time. Cohen later testified to Congress that Weisselberg was aware of the payments.

Since then, the DA's investigation has widened to examine whether the Trump Organization falsely inflated or deflated the value of its properties for loan and tax purposes, respectively. According to The Times, prosecutors subpoenaed Weisselberg's bank records in an effort to get him to cooperate with their inquiry.

In addition to being the Trump Organization's longtime chief financial officer, Weisselberg also has a decades-long knowledge of the intricacies of Trump's financial dealings.
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Pentagon announces new policies to abolish Trump administration's transgender military ban
On Wednesday, the department announced it has updated two internal polices to make it easier for transgender individuals to join up and access medical treatment while serving. The policies, which go into effect April 30, also protect transgender individuals from discrimination within the services.

The revised policies prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity and "restore the department's original 2016 policies regarding transgender service," Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said. They also "provide a path of service for medical treatment, gender transition and recognition in one's self-identified gender," Kirby added.

"This is reinstating a position that the previous commanders and, as well as the secretaries, have supported. And what I'm doing is enabling all qualified Americans to serve their country in uniform," Biden said, speaking from the Oval Office just before signing the executive order in January.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced the updated policies on the International Transgender Day of Visibility, a day dedicated to honor and empower the lives of transgender and nonbinary people.

"The United States armed forces are in the business of defending our fellow citizens from our enemies foreign and domestic, I believe we accomplish that mission more effectively when we represent all our fellow citizens," Austin said in a statement. "I also believe we should avail of ourselves of the best possible talent in our population regardless of gender identity. We would be rending ourselves less fit to the task if we excluded from our ranks people who meet our standards and have the skills and the standards to serve in uniform."

... Trump first announced the ban on Twitter in July 2017, arguing transgender people in the military would lead to "tremendous medical costs and disruption."
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California man accused of using stun gun on police officer who had a heart attack during the Capitol riot has been arrested
  • A man accused of using a stun gun on a police officer during the Capitol attack has been arrested.
  • The officer suffered a mild heart attack during the attack.
  • Daniel Rodriguez, a known Trump superfan, faces eight charges related to his participation in the riot.
A 38-year-old apparent Trump superfan, identified on camera as a suspect in the assault of a police officer during the Capitol insurrection on January 6, was arrested Wednesday.

Daniel Joseph Rodriguez, a California man accused of being part of a mob that swarmed DC Metropolitan Police Officer Mike Fanone during the riot, was arrested in Fontana, California, and indicted on eight counts, according to court documents.

Fanone suffered a mild heart attack during the attack and said he pleaded for his life when a crowd of rioters began to chant, "Kill him with his own gun!" The father of four told media outlets he was shocked with a stun gun during the siege and spent a day-and-a-half in the hospital recovering.

... Rodriguez faces eight charges, including obstruction of an official proceeding, civil disorder, assaulting, impeding, or resisting certain officers, theft of government property, destruction of government property, entering and remaining in restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon, and impeding ingress and egress in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon.
Read the full article: California man accused of using stun gun on police officer who had a heart attack during the Capitol riot has been arrested

or Trump-ism

Trumpism refers to the nontraditional political philosophy and approach espoused by 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.

Trump, whom many observers consider an anomaly, left the White House by saying, “We will be back in some form.” His legacy is “Trumpism” – a wave of white nationalism.

Trumpisms are Bushisms on steroids.