Puppet MastersS


Gavel

Trump's Florida case stunningly dismissed after Judge Cannon finds appointment of special counsel Jack Smith 'violated the Constitution'

trump judge aileen cannon jack smith
© Getty(L-R) Donald Trump, Judge Aileen Cannon, Special Prosecutor Jack Smith
Former President Donald Trump's confidential documents case was tossed out by a federal judge in a stunning move in Florida on Monday — eliminating one of his biggest legal liabilities just 113 days before the Nov. 5 election.

Judge Aileen Cannon dismissed the case against Trump — a move considered especially significant because the charges were widely viewed as the most likely to score a conviction in any of the four cases against him — on the grounds that the appointment of special counsel Jack Smith to the prosecution violated the Constitution.

Former President Donald Trump, who was shot at a campaign rally in Pennsylvania on Saturday, just scored a legal victory. AP

"I am thrilled that a judge had the courage and wisdom to do this," Trump told Fox News in an interview moments after the ruling. "This has big, big implications, not just for this case but for other cases.

Comment: Jonathan Turley and other legal experts weigh in:
Jonathan Turley, a defense attorney and law professor at George Washington University, told Fox News Monday that "of all of the cases that could be dismissed, this would be at the top of the list. This was the greatest threat. And for now, at least, it's gone."

[...]

John Yoo, a constitutional attorney, told Fox News Digital that the question of the constitutionality of special counsel has been debated for over 20 years. "We've been thinking and talking about this, these people who specialize in the Appointments Clause. The courts have generally been deferential to the Justice Department and how they want to appoint different lawyers."

"But I think because of how aggressive Jack Smith has been, he prompted close scrutiny from the courts," said Yoo.

Ed Meese, the former Attorney General under President Ronald Reagan, filed a number of amicus briefs in Jack Smith's cases against Trump arguing that Smith is "improperly appointed" and "has no more authority to represent the United States in this Court than Bryce Harper, Taylor Swift, or Jeff Bezos."

While Garland cited as statutory authority for this appointment, Meese argued that "none of those statutes, nor any other statutory or constitutional provisions, remotely authorized the appointment by the Attorney General of a private citizen to receive extraordinary criminal law enforcement power under the title of Special Counsel."

"Second, even if one overlooks the absence of statutory authority for the position, there is no statute specifically authorizing the Attorney General, rather than the President by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to appoint such a Special Counsel," the former AG wrote.

In a statement to Fox News Digital, Meese said "We are very glad that the court moved to emphasize the importance of the Constitution in making sure that the special counsel's appointment constitutional standards."

"I congratulate Judge Cannon for her courage and constitutional ability," he said.

Yoo said Cannon's decision is "a very thorough, strongly reasoned, persuasive opinion [that] goes through the history of special counsels and all the statutes that are involved."

"This decision is very well-reasoned and very well-written," said John Shu, a constitutional attorney who served in both Bush administrations. "It's not surprising because Congress intentionally allowed the independent counsel statute, which the Supreme Court found constitutional, to lapse, and they never replaced or amended it."

"And thus Congress, through it's inaction, just allowed the regulatory agency, in this case the DOJ, to go ahead and promulgate its own regulations in place of an actual enabling statute," he

Monday's decision is the latest in a string of legal victories for the former president. Earlier this month, the Supreme Court ruled that he and future presidents are granted limited immunity from prosecution for official acts in office. That decision directly impacted Smith's separate case against Trump related to the January 6, 2021 Capitol riot.

In a separate concurrence to the immunity decision, Justice Clarence Thomas looked to "highlight another way in which this prosecution may violate our constitutional structure" - the appointment of Jack Smith as special counsel.

"In this case, there has been much discussion about ensuring that a President 'is not above the law.' But, as the Court explains, the President's immunity from prosecution for his official acts is the law. The Constitution provides for 'an energetic executive,' because such an Executive is 'essential to... the security of liberty,'" Thomas wrote.

"Respecting the protections that the Constitution provides for the Office of the Presidency secures liberty. In that same vein, the Constitution also secures liberty by separating the powers to create and fill offices. And, there are serious questions whether the Attorney General has violated that structure by creating an office of the Special Counsel that has not been established by law," Thomas said, adding that "[t]hose questions must be answered before this prosecution can proceed."

Thomas explained that in this case, the attorney general "purported to appoint a private citizen as Special Counsel to prosecute a former President on behalf of the United States."

"But, I am not sure that any office for the Special Counsel has been 'established by Law,' as the Constitution requires. By requiring that Congress create federal offices 'by Law,' the Constitution imposes an important check against the President - he cannot create offices at his pleasure," he said.

Should the Justice Department appeal Cannon's decision, the Supreme Court could eventually be petitioned to weigh in on the matter.

"All of these cases seem to be collapsing of their own weight, and it's because of lawfare," said Jim Trusty, a former federal prosector and former lawyer for President Trump.

"This is the price of lawfare when you create different crimes and different investigative approaches, and you do it all in the name of self-righteousness that Donald Trump needs to be stopped, which is really the philosophy behind all these prosecutions."



Bad Guys

Best of the Web: NATO allies table stealing Chinese-owned infrastructure in Europe

Metro train in Madrid
© Bloomberg | Getty ImagesFILE
NATO officials are discussing taking action to reclaim some Chinese-owned infrastructure projects in Europe should a wider conflict with Russia break out in the east of the continent, three officials involved in the discussions told CNN.

A decade ago, when Europe was still crawling out of the economic crater caused by the global financial crisis, the promise of infrastructure funding from Chinese-owned investment firms seemed like a major windfall.


Comment: The multi-'nodal' world (as it has recently been coined) will not want to deal with a West that accepted China's help when it desperately needed it, and then stole from it just a few years later.


Now, with the largest land war being waged in Europe since World War II - and the West warning of Beijing's support of Russia's invasion of Ukraine - NATO countries now see those investments as a liability, with allies beginning to discuss ways to reclaim some of those projects, the officials said.


Comment: Or: NATO countries are desperate for funds and assets?


Comment: It's fairly obvious what the consequences of such action would be - even the US is now admitting that its sanctions will ruin the integrity of the dollar - but it seems the West, like its ally Israel, is going for broke:
US sanctions will lead to demise of dollar - US Treasury Secretary


Attention

Trump got a bloodied ear. US 'political violence' poses a far bigger danger to the rest of us

Biden and Trump are two rotten figureheads of a rotting empire. Ignore the tribal rhetoric: neither poses an existential threat. But the system behind them does.

Trump Assassination
© jonathancook.substack.com
The outpouring of opinions on the attempted assassination of Donald Trump mostly offers little insight or honesty - apart from the all-too-obvious concern that the shooting of the former president is likely to make the United States even more of a tinderbox than it is already.

There's a reason for this. The responses - whether from Trump supporters or Trump opponents - are all embedded in the same ideology of political tribalism that provoked the gunman. Neither side is capable of self-reflection because the US system is designed to avoid such self-reflection.

Despite what the political class wants you to believe, "political violence" is as American as apple pie. The US global empire was built on political violence, or the threat of it, most especially after the Second World War. Just ask the people of Vietnam, Serbia, Latin America, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Ukraine and Gaza.

The difference now is that Washington's imperial grip is all too clearly weakening.

President Joe Biden is not alone in refusing to recognise this fact. He recently told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos: "I'm running the world."

But US elites are rapidly finding that the world is no longer prepared to submit.

Washington's international military arm, Nato, is being run into the ground by Russia in a proxy war in Ukraine.
Washington's key military client state in the oil-rich Middle East, Israel, is being flooded with US weaponry to destroy Gaza. But in the midst of a genocide, Israel is exposing how weak it is. Hamas has not been defeated. In fact, it has been strengthened. And greater cooperation is being encouraged among those opposed to Israel's regional hegemony.

Current domestic US politics can only be properly understood through the prism of the gradual decline of US influence abroad. The building of alternative international power formations, such as BRICS, is weakening Washington's military and economic reach.

Adding to its woes, Washington's ideological hegemony is crumbling too. Transnational capitalism - headquartered in the US - has no answers to the environmental fall-out from the endless resource extraction required to feed the appetite for wasteful, mass consumption it has to cultivate to generate greater profits for a corporate elite.

As the plundering of the planet's finite resources gets harder, especially as corporations continue to stoke our hunger for material excess, other states are less willing to sit back and let the US take its pound of flesh.

The result is a growing political and economic instability that is hard to miss.

Blue Planet

Reformist at the helm: What can the world expect from Iran's new president?

Pezeshkian
President of Iran Masoud Pezeshkian
Political analysts discuss with RT how the election of President Masoud Pezeshkian will impact the Islamic Republic, the region and the world.

Last week, it became clear that Iran's conservative turn, which saw Ibrahim Raisi take power in August 2021, was over. Following the president's tragic death in a helicopter crash in May, the reformist coalition's sole candidate won snap elections.

Iranians cast their votes in the first round of the presidential race at the end of June, but the winner could not be determined, prompting a runoff. On July 5, Iranians elected the moderate Masoud Pezeshkian with 53.6 percent of votes. The 69-year-old cardiac surgeon is expected to resign from his current post as a member of the Iranian parliament at the end of July ahead of an inauguration in August.

Much is expected from a man who pledged to unite a quite divided nation, solve Iran's economic problems, ease tensions with the West triggered by the Islamic Republic's drive for nuclear energy, and improve relations with regional and international players. But given the events that have affected Iran in recent years and mounting international pressure, will Pezeshkian's presidency be as liberal as that of Hassan Rouhani, who held the post for eight years from 2013?

To understand how likely it is for the new president to achieve these goals, RT spoke to a number of political analysts and this is their take on what the future might hold for Iran.

Attention

America was less than an inch away from socio-political disaster

TrumpFist
© UnknownFormer US President/Republican nominee Donald Trump • Pennsylvania political rally
America just got a reality check about how close it is to descending into chaos.

Former President and impending Republican Nominee Donald Trump survived an assassination attempt at an outdoor rally in Pennsylvania on Saturday days before his party's national convention after suddenly turning his head at the last second and thus miraculously dodging a bullet that only ended up grazing his ear. The shooter was killed by the Secret Service, but an eyewitness told the media that he warned the police about a man crawling on the roof a few minutes earlier, though no action was taken.

This security lapse is suspicious and prompts speculation that at least one member of the Secret Service might have purposely waited until after the shooter took his shot before neutralizing him, whether out of sympathy for his cause or perhaps because they were in on some sort of plot. About the shooter, he's been identified as Thomas Matthew Crooks, a registered Republican. It remains unclear at the time of writing what his online history was and whether there's more to his party affiliation than meets the eye.

At the very least, there's no doubt that the Democrats' and their allied "Never Trumpers'" hatemongering played a role in radicalizing the suspect. Had he succeeded in assassinating Trump, then the US would have certainly plunged into socio-political disaster, which it literally missed by less than an inch. Many expect that powerful Democrat donors might soon force Biden to drop out of the race, thus leading to the party selecting their nominee outside of the notionally democratic primary process.

Target

Melania Trump speaks up after attempt on her husband's life

DonandMel
© Joe Raedle/Getty ImagesFormer US President Donald Trump with Former First Lady Melania
Former first lady Melania Trump on Sunday condemned the attack on her husband at a rally the previous day, urging fellow Americans to come together and "reunite" in the wake of the incident.

She described the suspected attacker as a "monster", his deed a "heinous crime" and in a statement, said:
"When I watched that violent bullet strike my husband, Donald, I realized my life, and Barron's life, were on the brink of devastating change. I am grateful to the brave secret service agents and law enforcement officials who risked their own lives to protect my husband."
The ex-first lady also urged fellow Americans to focus on arguably more important things, such as "love, compassion, kindness and empathy," rather than on political rivalry. She stated:
"Let us reunite. Now. This morning, ascend above the hate, the vitriol, and the simple-minded ideas that ignite violence. We all want a world where respect is paramount, family is first, and love transcends. We can realize this world again. Each of us must demand to get it back. We must insist that respect fills the cornerstone of our relationships, again."

Footprints

Russian troops are storming New York. Are you confused? Well, read this

War stuff
© Unknown
The battle for a small settlement with an unusual name is part of Moscow's grand strategic plan.

Recent reports from the front lines of the conflict in Ukraine have included references to a place with a name that nearly everyone on the planet recognizes: Russian forces have reached the outskirts of New York. No, it's not a joke. Here's what's happening, why the troops are advancing on New York, and what their objectives might be.

For the Russian military, expanding the front line seems to be its main goal this summer. Seizing the initiative, it is steadily widening the battlefront, forcing Kiev to respond to new threats in various locations. While each attack may not yield an immediate breakthrough, they wear down Ukrainian troops by forcing their commanders to redeploy brigades. This continuous strain results in the overall exhaustion of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU).

One such unexpectedly active front is around the town of Toretsk and the neighboring settlement of New York, areas long overlooked as sites of conflict.

Taser

Wait for it . . . : FBI believes Trump shooter 'acted alone'

fbi logo crooks trump assassination
Matthew Crooks (R) is alleged to have attempted to assassinate Donald Trump July 13, 2024 at a campaign rally in Butler, PA.
Law enforcement continues to search for the shooter's motive

Law enforcement officials are still trying to determine what motivated a 20-year-old Pennsylvania man to shoot former President Donald Trump yesterday but believe he had no accomplices. The attack, which superficially injured Trump, killed one rallygoer and severely injured two others.

The FBI, however, stated in a Sunday briefing that it "believes the shooter acted alone," The Associated Press reported.

The injured rallygoers "were listed in stable condition as of Sunday." The one fatality, Corey Comperatore, was a former volunteer fire chief who shielded his family with his body.

The Trump campaign has raised more than $2.6 million for the victims and their families.

Comment: Fox News elaborates:
The FBI announced Sunday it is investigating the assassination attempt on former President Trump as a potential act of terrorism.

In a press conference just one day after the attempt on the former president's life, Robert Wells, the assistant director of the Counterterrorism Division at the FBI, announced that the agency is using "every resource that we have at our disposal."

"We have a 24/7 command post in Pittsburgh as well as here at FBI headquarters and we are dedicating every resource that we have at our disposal," he said.

"Our number one goal here is to identify the motive of the subject and determine whether he had any other associates or anyone else that was involved at this point," Wells said.

Wells said that the federal agency, which identified the gunman as Thomas Matthew Crooks of Bethel Park, Pennsylvania, believes that the 20-year-old was a "lone actor."

"It appears that he was a lone actor, but we still have more investigation to go," he said. "We are investigating this as an assassination attempt, but also looking at it as a potential domestic terrorism act."

"Our counterterrorism division and our criminal division are working jointly to determine the motive," he said.

Kevin Rojek, the special agent in charge of the FBI's Pittsburgh Division, said that there are no active public safety concerns.

"At this time, the information that we have indicates that the shooter acted alone and that there are currently no public safety concerns at present," Rojek said. "We have not identified an ideology associated with the subject, but I want to remind everyone that we're still very early in this investigation."

"We are working hard to determine the sequence of events related to the subject and his movements, and the hours and days and weeks prior to the shooting, and we are following all investigative leads," he said.



Bad Guys

Ex-PM Imran Khan, wife arrested on new charges after acquittal in 'illegal' marriage case

imran khan wife Bushra Bibi
© AP Photo / K.M. Chaudary
Former Prime Minister Imran Khan and his wife Bushra Khan were arrested by Pakistani authorities in a case involving the illegal sale of state gifts on Saturday after a court accepted their appeals against a ruling that they had violated the country's marriage law and ordered their immediate release.

Khan and his wife were sentenced to seven years in prison and fined in February by a court that ruled their 2018 marriage broke the law. Bushra was accused of not completing the waiting period mandated by Islam, called "Iddat," after divorcing her previous husband and marrying Khan.

Khan has been in jail after being convicted in four cases since last August. Two of the cases have since been suspended and he was acquitted in a third, so the Iddat case was the only one keeping him in prison.

However, shortly after the local court's verdict in his favor, the former prime minister and his wife were arrested in a lingering corruption reference against them, commonly known as the Toshakhana - or state repository - case, preventing the possibility of them walking out of the jail.

Comment: Khan has already been the victim of assassination attempts, and, considering the spike in threats against world leaders in just the last 6 months, it's perhaps no surprise that new, trumped up charges have been concocted against Khan, to prevent him from influencing a strategic region like Pakistan:


Cult

Former Israeli defense minister says economy in collapse, soldiers plagued by nightmares

izrael
FILE: IDF
Former Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Monday that soldiers are plagued by nightmares, the economy is collapsing, and diplomacy is eroding.

"Nine months have passed since the deadly surprise attack by Hamas on the state of Israel and its people, and it seems as though nothing has changed within the Israeli leadership," Lieberman wrote in an article published on the Israeli news site Walla.


"Children and adults, soldiers, and reservists are suffering from nightmares about what has happened and what might happen. The Israeli economy is collapsing, and Israeli diplomacy is eroding," the leader of the right-wing opposition party added.

Comment: It's rather telling as to the state of the Israeli psyche and its society as a whole that, whilst the majority of Israelis are free to go about their daily lives, relatively untouched by the genocide they're waging, they're already suffering a surge in psychological disorders, hundreds of thousands have already fled, and they're calling for even more egregious brutality and inhumane treatment of Palestinians, and they even support the expansion and escalation of the conflict.

Meanwhile in Gaza: