Axios: Schumer Open to Dumping Biden
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Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is privately signaling to donors that he’s open to a Democratic presidential ticket that isn’t led by President Biden, Axios reported.

In public, Schumer has been insistent that he is “for Joe.” In private, he’s singing a different tune.

Over the last 12 days, Schumer has been listening to donors’ ideas and suggestions about the best way forward for the party, according to three people familiar with the matter.

The majority leader is one of several Democrats, including former President Obama and former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has the political and personal standing to convince Biden to step aside. Even so, Biden can still dig in and the delegates are pledged to him.

“As I have made clear repeatedly publicly and privately, I support President Biden and remain committed to ensuring Donald Trump is defeated in November,” Schumer said in a statement after this story was published.

Both before and after the debate, Schumer’s famous flip phone burned up with donors, sharing their views. Schumer has been listening.

Schumer hasn’t indicated who, if anyone, might be a more viable candidate than Biden.

His focus is on defeating former President Trump and retaining the Democratic majority in the Senate.

In addition to donors, he is receiving feedback from his fellow senators.

Following Tuesday’s caucus lunch, Schumer invited senior Biden campaign officials to brief members and directly address any concerns they might have.

Biden’s command to lawmakers to “end” the talk of replacing him has not been heeded.

Today, Pelosi openly suggested that Biden should reconsider his decision. “It’s up to the president to decide if he is going to run,” Pelosi said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “The time is running short.”

This afternoon, Rep. Pat Ryan (D-N.Y.) became the eighth House Democrat to call for Biden to drop out of the race.

Schumer’s conversations are part of a roiling debate in the Democratic Party, with prominent donors — including George Clooney — now calling on Biden to drop out of the race.

Lawmakers and donors are waiting for more polling data, most of which has been negative for Biden, before making a potential move against the president.

They are also watching his public performances, with many waiting to see how he does in a post-NATO press conference Thursday.

In Tuesday’s Democratic caucus meeting, Schumer didn’t tip his hand on whether he thought Biden could beat Trump or he should lead his party’s ticket in November.

But Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.) voiced their concerns that Biden is likely to lose the election.

They were joined by Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), who later in the day took his private warnings public, telling CNN, “I think that we could lose the whole thing.”

Multiple Democratic senators told Axios on Wednesday that Schumer is listening to the concerns of his whole caucus on the topic of Biden’s future.

Biden did receive public support from several senators today, including from Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.), the chair of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

“I believe President Biden can win,” Peters said, according to the Detroit News. “And I believe that we’ll be able to hold the Senate majority.”

When Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) was asked by reporters Wednesday if he agreed with Bennet that Biden was in danger of losing, Casey responded: “No.”

“The president can win and I think he will win,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said.

Even before Biden’s dismal showing, Schumer was telling allies that the late June debate date — the earliest debate in modern presidential history — had two obvious advantages:

It would give Biden time to recover if he performed poorly.

Or it would give Democrats the option of finding a different standard-bearer if Biden’s candidacy wasn’t salvageable.

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Biden to Endorse Sweeping Changes to Supreme Court: Term Limits, Ethics Code

President Biden is finalizing plans to endorse major changes to the Supreme Court in the coming weeks, including proposals for legislation to establish term limits for the justices and an enforceable ethics code, The Washington Post reported.

He is also weighing whether to call for a constitutional amendment to eliminate broad immunity for presidents and other constitutional officeholders, the people said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss private deliberations.

The announcement would mark a major shift for Biden, a former chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, who has long resisted calls to make substantive changes to the high court.

Biden previewed the shift in a Zoom call Saturday with the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

“I’m going to need your help on the Supreme Court, because I’m about to come out — I don’t want to prematurely announce it — but I’m about to come out with a major initiative on limiting the court. … I’ve been working with constitutional scholars for the last three months, and I need some help,” Biden said, according to a transcript of the call obtained by The Washington Post.

Term limits and an ethics code would be subject to congressional approval, which would face long odds in the Republican-controlled House and a slim Democratic majority in the Senate. Under current rules, passage in the Senate would require 60 votes. A constitutional amendment requires even more hurdles, including two-thirds support of both chambers, or by a convention of two-thirds of the states, and then approval by three-fourths of state legislatures.
The details of Biden’s considered policies have not been disclosed.

Shortly after The Post published this story, former president Donald Trump criticized the move on Truth Social: “The Democrats are attempting to interfere in the Presidential Election, and destroy our Justice System, by attacking their Political Opponent, ME, and our Honorable Supreme Court,” he wrote. “We have to fight for our Fair and Independent Courts, and protect our Country.”

Biden’s private remarks about his high-court plans came more than two weeks after his wobbly performance at a June 27 debate with Trump, which prompted calls from some Democrats for him to step aside as the party’s presidential nominee. Among those who have rallied to his side are many liberals who strongly support calls to remake the court.

Four days after that debate, the Supreme Court ruled that Trump was immune from prosecution for official acts during his first term in office. Less than an hour later, Biden called Laurence Tribe, a constitutional law professor at Harvard Law School, to discuss the ruling and the arguments for and against remaking the court.

“This decision today has continued the court’s attack in recent years on a wide range of long-established legal principles in our nation, from gutting voting rights and civil rights to taking away a woman’s right to choose, to today’s decision that undermines the rule of law of this nation,” Biden said in public remarks later that day.

The next week, Biden called Tribe again, and the two discussed a Guardian opinion piece he wrote endorsing reforms to the Supreme Court. Among the options they discussed: term limits, an enforceable ethics code and the constitutional amendment to address presidential immunity.

Tribe confirmed that he spoke with Biden but declined to comment on their discussion.

During the 2020 presidential race, Biden rebuffed calls from liberals who advocated expanding the court, but he promised he would create a commission to study potential changes. He followed through on that promise after being elected, and the commission issued a 294-page report to the president. Biden has not acted on the commission’s report since it was approved in December 2021.

Eight Democratic senators have co-sponsored a bill that would establish 18-year terms for Supreme Court justices, with a new justice appointed every two years. The nine most recently appointed justices would sit for appellate jurisdiction cases, while others would be able to hear original jurisdiction cases or to step in as a substitute if one of the most recent nine is conflicted or cannot hear a case for another reason.

The legislation was introduced by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), but it has been co-sponsored by several Democrats: Cory Booker (N.J.), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Alex Padilla (Calif.), Jeff Merkley (Ore.), Peter Welch (Vt.), Brian Schatz (Hawaii) and Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.).

Democrats have offered other legislation to deal with ethics concerns about the high court, including a bill by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) that caps gifts judges can receive, requires the court to follow the judicial code of conduct and requires justices to provide written recusal decisions upon request from litigants, among other changes.

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RNC Day 2: Top Takeaways

The second full day of the Republican National Convention featured two of former President Donald Trump‘s fiercest primary rivals praising him onstage.

Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) both had complicated relationships with Trump in their unsuccessful primary challenges but have ultimately thrown their support for Trump.

The Trump campaign buoyed by a triumphant Monday night that saw Trump appear onstage is now claiming that several states including Minnesota, Virginia, New Jersey, and New Mexico as toss-ups while Maine could be in play. The former president appeared at the Fiserv Forum for the second night in a row, where he received a standing ovation, but did not address the crowd.

Tuesday night’s theme was “Make America Safe Once Again” as several speakers slammed President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris over the crisis of unchecked immigration at the southern border. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), for instance, claimed the U.S. was facing an “invasion” at the border while victims of crime derided the Biden administration.

Here are the top takeaways from RNC Day 2.

Nikki Haley is unequivocally backing Trump

After a bitter primary against Trump, Haley officially folded back into the Trump-led GOP when she spoke to the convention Tuesday evening. “I’ll start by making one thing perfectly clear: Donald Trump has my strong endorsement. Period,” Haley said unequivocally throwing her weight behind Trump.

“You don’t have to agree with Trump 100% of the time to vote for him,” Haley added, claiming the two former rivals agreed on the safety of America. Attendees of the convention appeared to support Haley’s attempts to reunite the GOP giving her a loud applause during her comments supporting Trump.

The former U.N. ambassador did not hesitate to attack Biden over the concerns he is too old to serve. “For the sake of our nation, we have to go with Donald Trump,” Haley implored claiming Harris should not become the next president of the U.S.

Other lawmakers repeatedly stressed that after the failed assassination plot against Trump it was imperative for the party to come together. “After President Trump got shot a couple of days ago, we now realize that this is not a time for Republican infighting. That’s over. Primaries are like that for a reason. And now it’s time for all of us to come together,” said Rep. Wesley Hunt (R-TX).

The Texas GOP delegation was warned not to boo Haley when she spoke however Princess Anne Gonzalez, an alternate delegate, was skeptical. “We might not be booing but I feel like other people from the other states might,” she said. But no discernible shouts of displeasure against Haley were heard during her speech.

Ron DeSantis continues the GOP unity tour, slams Biden

DeSantis, another tough primary rival of Trump’s, addressed the convention immediately after Haley and echoed much of her main points to the crowd.

“My fellow Republicans, let’s send Joe Biden back to his basement and let’s send Donald Trump back to the White House,” DeSantis said to cheers from the crowd.

Just as Haley did during her speech, DeSantis hit Biden over his age and concerns that he is not mentally capable to serve another four more years. “We need a commander-in-chief who can lead 24 hours a day and seven days a week,” DeSantis said before referencing a 1989 movie. “America cannot afford four more years of a weekend at Bernie’s presidency.”

DeSantis was once seen as Trump’s most competitive rival during the primary but after DeSantis campaign’s continued stumbles he dropped out of the race one week after the Iowa caucuses in January. The Florida governor and Trump would later end the tensions between the two after the former president became the presumptive GOP nominee earlier this year.

“Let’s make the 45th president of the United States, the 47th president of the United States,” DeSantis said urging the crowd to show up for Trump at the polls.

Lara Trump reflects on assassination attempt

RNC co-chair and Trump daughter-in-law Lara Trump shared somber words after Trump survived a plot to take his life. The speech she had planned to give was scrapped after Trump’s near-death encounter. “Our family has faced our fair share of deaths, mysterious powders sent to our homes, tasteless and violent comments directed towards us on social media,” the younger Trump said. “But none of them prepares you as a daughter-in-law to watch in real time someone try to kill a person you love.”

But Lara was quick to point to the unity of the GOP and the nation, as well as the well wishes of supporters. “Last Saturday was a dark reminder that we as Americans must always remember there is more that unites us than divides us,” she counseled.

Much of Lara Trump’s speech was dedicated to championing Trump’s record as president, including low gas prices, a more secure border, and low unemployment rates for black and Hispanic Americans. She also cautioned viewers at home to view Trump not how the media has portrayed but how his family sees him: as a caring father, father-in-law, and grandfather.

“I have seen this man dragged through hell and back, in and out of courtrooms, indictments, impeachments, mug shots, and even an assassination attempt. And yet, he has never backed down,” she said to the crowd’s approval.

Congressional leaders show a display of force with Trump

House and Senate GOP leaders championed Trump’s agenda in another display of GOP unity as they hope to retake the White House and the Senate from Democrats, creating a GOP trifecta. House Republicans, specifically, painted Biden as a danger to the nation and blamed him as the cause of the financial hardships Americans are facing, as they took the stage Tuesday evening.

“I’ve seen some crazy things in my time. But New Orleans has nothing on Washington, D.C., these past four years,” House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA) said. “Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have spent your tax dollars trashing America’s finances in ways no sane or sober-minded person ever would.”

“We fought back against Democrats’ reckless spending that caused record-breaking inflation for hardworking Americans,” added House Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-MN). “When we grow our majority, when we flip the Senate, and when we send President Donald J. Trump back to the White House, we won’t just be holding the line anymore — we’ll be moving forward.”

Lawmakers in the upper chamber blamed Harris for the growing immigration problem, given her role as the “border czar.” Stopping immigrants from entering the nation illegally has been one of the top three issues for the average American voters, giving the GOP another line of attack against Democrats in the battle to retake the Senate.

“They have encouraged millions of illegal aliens to invade America,” Bernie Moreno, the Republican Senate candidate in Ohio, said during his speech. He later claimed that “the Democrat Senate have put the welfare of illegals ahead of our own citizens.”

“Who’s ready to retire Joe Biden and send border czar Kamala Harris back to California?” Dave McCormick, who is running against Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) in Pennsylvania, said.

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Cops Found Remote Detonator Next to Thomas Crooks’ Phone in Bomb Plot

A remote detonator was found on would-be assassin Thomas Crooks’ body alongside his cell phone after he was shot dead by Secret Service snipers at a Donald Trump rally in Pennsylvania on Saturday.

A picture first published by Pittsburgh’s WPXI showed the detonator, a rectangular grey device with a keypad similar to a television remote control, alongside the gunman’s cellphone.

It was earlier reported that investigating FBI agents recovered explosive materials, ammo and a bullet proof vest inside of the troubled 20-year-old’s car. CNN reports that the bombs were connected to the detonator.

Crooks attracted the attention of security at the rally, held in the town of Butler, 30 miles north of Pittsburgh, shortly after he arrived in the vicinity at approximately 3:00pm.

The shooter was behaving strangely around the metal detectors, at least an hour before the attempted assassination, and was later seen using a range finder.

The gunfire rang out at the rally at 6:11 pm. Trump took to the stage at 6:03 pm, an hour later than advertised.

Four days after the shooting, law enforcement have not commented on what they believe Crooks may have been planning to do after the shooting with the Secret Service facing increasing scrutiny for their inability to secure the event.

Channel 11′s Nicole Ford, who obtained the exclusive photo, revealed that law enforcement agents saw Crooks outside of the the single-story AGR International building from which he shot the ex-President.

This new development comes as Secret Service director Kimberly Cheatle faces fresh questions after local law enforcement officials directly contradicted her claim that a Beaver County sniper team was stationed in the very building from which Trump was shot.

It emerged on Tuesday that the killer penetrated the security area of the rally a full three hours before carrying out his attack, after driving the 50 miles north from his home in Bethel Park on the southern outskirts of Pittsburgh.

At 3pm Crooks triggered a metal detector as he tried to gain access to the site, and was found to be carrying a rangefinder – a gun sight typically used by hunters and marksmen preparing to shoot at distance.

But security officers allowed him in while keeping an eye on him until he left the secure area a short time later, the official said.
He then fell off the radar until shortly before 5.45pm when an officer with the Beaver County Police Department saw him acting suspiciously near the outer perimeter and took a photograph.

It was claimed on Monday that a team of police snipers was stationed in the AGR International building, and that they saw him outside three times in the minutes leading up to the attack.

A law enforcement official told CBS that no action was taken after one of the snipers first spotted Crooks looking up at the roof of the building.

The gunman disappeared around a corner before he was seen a second time, sitting down and looking at his phone, prompting one of the snipers to take his picture.

The sniper then radioed to a command post after seeing Crooks take out his rangefinder.

But no further action was taken before Crooks reappeared a third time, this time wearing a backpack and disappearing from sight as he walked to the back of the building.

A further radio report relaying the information was submitted by the sniper team who did not realize that Crooks was now scaling their building.

Channel 11 said multiple sources on Tuesday confirmed that Crooks was on the roof with a gun for fewer than seven minutes before he was confronted by a Butler Township police officer.

That officer retreated after Crooks swung his AR-style weapon in his direction leaving the killer free to aim at his target.

Investigators have yet to figure out a motive for Crooks who had a minimal social media presence, and are hoping his phone may hold some clues.

But they found a bulletproof vest, three fully-loaded magazines containing around 100 bullets, and two remote-controlled explosive devices in Crooks’ car after the shooting it emerged on Tuesday.

Another bulletproof vest, and third remote-controlled bomb was later discovered at the house he shared with his parents.

The latest revelation that a transmitter was also with him has raised fears that Crooks may have been planning to continue his killing spree if he had escaped from the roof with his life, and may have had an accomplice to help him.

Hours earlier Crooks had asked his boss for the day off, telling him he had ‘something to do’, before travelling to Saturday’s rally.

The would-be assassin told colleagues at the Bethel Park Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Center that he would see them on Sunday.

But a Secret Service agent at the Butler rally ensured that he would be the last person Crooks saw as he locked eyes with the killer before shooting him dead, graphic video has revealed.

Agents found him in their sights and one pulled the trigger seconds after the 20-year-old shot dead Pennsylvania fire chief Corey Comperatore, critically injured two others and hit Trump in the right ear from his vantage point 147 yards away.

‘They were looking at him while he was looking at them,’ a senior federal law enforcement official told CNN.

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RNC Day 3: Full Speaker List and Schedule

The third day of the Republican National Convention will feature some of the party’s biggest names as the convention turns it focus to foreign affairs and “border security.”

Among the most notable highlights will be the first public address of Ohio Sen. JD Vance, named former President Donald Trump’s running mate this week, as well as Donald Trump Jr.

The theme for the third day of the convention will be “Make America Strong Once Again,” according to the GOP.

Here’s who will be speaking on Day 3 of the RNC:

RNC Day 3: Full speaker list and schedule

SESSION TIME: 5:38 PM – 9:58 PM CT

5:44PM – VIDEO

5:59PM – VIDEO

6:01PM – Rep. Brian Mast (FL-21)

6:04PM – Rep. Nancy Mace (SC-01)

6:07PM – Rep. Ronny Jackson (TX-13)

6:12PM – VIDEO

6:13PM – Ric Grenell, Former Acting Director of National Intelligence

6:17PM – Rep. Matt Gaetz (FL-01)

6:24PM – Callista Gingrich, Former Ambassador to the Holy See

6:32PM – Newt Gingrich, Former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives

6:36PM – Peter Navarro, Former Director of the U.S. O`ice of Trade and Manufacturing Policy

6:44PM – Rep. Monica De La Cruz (TX-15)

6:47PM – Thomas Homan, Former Acting Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement

6:50PM – David Lara – Business Owner and Community Activist

6:53PM – Jim Chilton – Rancher

7:02PM – Governor Greg Abbott (TX)

7:10PM – Sarah Philips – Petroleum Engineer

7:13PM – Mayor Trent Conway (East Palestine, Ohio)

7:16PM – Governor Doug Burgum (ND)

7:28PM – Kellyanne Conway, Former Counselor to the President

7:33PM – VIDEO

7:36PM – Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (FL-13)

7:40PM – Staff Sergeant David Bellavia Ret., Medal of Honor Recipient

7:43PM – Scott Neil – Decorated War Hero & Founder, Horse Soldier Bourbon

7:46PM – Kimberly Guilfoyle

8:05PM – Rep. Michael Waltz (FL-06)

8:08PM – VIDEO

8:14PM – Alicia Lopez and Herman Lopez // Cheryl Jules and Christy Shamblin. Gold Star Families

8:20PM – Performance – Brian Kelley, Country Music Artist, and the Holy Redeemer Church of God in Christ Choir. UNC Frat Boys.

8:25PM – Shabbos Kestenbaum – Jewish American & Alumnus, Harvard University

8:32PM – Neutra Family – Family of Hamas Hostage

8:35PM – VIDEO

8:37PM – Sergeant William Pekrul – Decorated War Hero, World War II and D-Day Veteran

9:00PM – Kai Trump, Daughter of Donald Trump Jr.

9:05PM – Donald Trump Jr.

9:27PM – Usha Chilukuri Vance, Wife of Senator J.D. Vance, Vice Presidential Nominee

9:31PM – Senator J.D. Vance, Vice Presidential Nominee

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DHS Launches Investigation Into Secret Service After Trump Assassination Attempt

The Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general has opened an investigation into the Secret Service’s handling of security for former President Trump’s rally in Pennsylvania over the weekend.

In a brief notice posted to the inspector general’s website, the agency said the objective of the probe is to “Evaluate the United States Secret Service’s (Secret Service) process for securing former President Trump’s July 13, 2024 campaign event,” during which there was an assassination attempt against Trump.

There was no date given for when the investigation was launched. The notice was among a long list of ongoing cases that the inspector general’s office is pursuing. President Biden had already directed an independent review of the security at the rally.

Questions remain on Wednesday surrounding how the 20-year-old shooter, Thomas Matthew Crooks, managed to climb on top of a building and open fire at Trump and rally attendees in Butler, Pennsylvania.

Secret Service Director Kimberly Cheatle said in an interview Tuesday that her agency was “solely responsible” for the implementation and execution of security there.

Cheatle told CNN that no assets from the rally were diverted on the day Trump was shot, even though other events in the state required Secret Service protection.

“At that particular site, we divided up areas of responsibility, but the Secret Service is totally responsible for the design and implementation and the execution of the site,” Cheatle said.

Cheatle, in a separate interview with ABC News, said the agency was aware of the security vulnerabilities presented by the building Crooks took a sniper’s position on aiming at Trump.

“That building in particular has a sloped roof at its highest point. And so, you know, there’s a safety factor that would be considered there that we wouldn’t want to put somebody up on a sloped roof. And so, you know, the decision was made to secure the building, from inside,” she said.

But the “sloped roof” comment is facing scrutiny, with critics on social media calling it a “total BS excuse” that “defies believability.”

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Peter Navarro Released from Prison, Will Speak at RNC

Former Donald Trump White House adviser Peter Navarro was released from a Miami federal prison Wednesday after completing his four-month sentence for defying a subpoena from the January 6 congressional committee.

Navarro is expected to quickly travel to Milwaukee so he can appear at the Republican National Convention, where his former boss has been formally nominated as the GOP’s 2024 presidential nominee.

He is one of two members of Trump’s circle who were convicted for failing to comply with subpoenas from the now-defunct House Select Committee that investigated the January 6. Trump adviser Steve Bannon started serving his four-month sentence earlier this month at a federal prison in Connecticut.

Navarro, who is in his 70s, worked as a law library clerk during his time in the prison camp, his prison consultant Sam Mangel told CNN.

“Everybody has to work,” Mangel said. “It gave him a chance to write.”

Mangel said Navarro was liked and respected by his fellow inmates while in the prison.

“When I went to visit him, guys were coming up to him, high-fiving him,” Mangel said.

When lawmakers demanded Navarro’s participation in their probe, they pointed to reports that he was involved in efforts to delay Congress’ certification of the 2020 presidential results.

After just a few hours of deliberations, a federal jury found Navarro guilty last summer on two counts of contempt: for his failure to produce documents and for not showing up for an interview that the committee had demanded.

Before the trial, Navarro had sought to argue to the jury that he was acting at the direction of Trump, who had invoked executive privilege, when he refused to comply with the subpoena. The judge, however, barred him from putting forward that defense, having concluded that the former White House aide had not present sufficient evidence that Trump had formally asserted the privilege.

While Navarro was unsuccessful in an emergency appeal to delay his prison sentence, he is now appealing his conviction on the merits.

The federal correctional facility where Navarro has lived since March is one of the oldest prison camps in the country, housing fewer than 200 inmates in its aging infrastructure, with a large Puerto Rican population.

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WATCH: Biden Teases Harris ‘Could Be President’ in NAACP Speech

President Biden said Tuesday that Vice President Kamala Harris “could be president of the United States” while addressing the NAACP’s annual convention — as fellow Democrats try to convince him to step aside ahead of the Nov. 5 election.

“She’s not only a great vice president, she could be president of the United States,” the 81-year-old chief executive said of Harris, 59, who would be best positioned to replace him if he decides to retire.

Biden gave no indication, however, that he would do so — telling the crowd that he had a plan for the first 100 days of a second term, including signing voting rights legislation “come hell or high water.”

The incumbent repeatedly attacked Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump in his remarks — despite calling on Americans to “lower the temperature” of the campaign in a rare Oval Office address Sunday, after Trump, 78, was wounded Saturday in an assassination attempt.

“Donald Trump’s presidency was hell for black America,” Biden exclaimed at one point.

“What the hell’s the matter with this man?” Biden said at another point, recounting how the National Guard responded to protests and riots in 2020 following the murder of George Floyd.

Trump is “lying like hell” about their respective black unemployment records, the president also said — ridiculing Trump’s focus on growing “black jobs.”

“I love this phrase, ‘black jobs,’ tells us a lot about the man and about his character,” Biden jabbed.

“Folks, I know what a black job is. It’s the vice president of the United States. I know what a black job is: the first black president in American history, Barack Obama.”

Trump is “a guy who spread the birthism lie about Barack Obama, saying he wasn’t born in America and he wasn’t a US citizen,” Biden said.

The president said Republicans would “undo everything the NAACP stands for.”

Democrats plan to nominate Biden virtually as early as this month — ahead of the Aug. 19-22 Democratic convention — though congressional dissenters are expected to mount a fresh push to convince the oldest-ever sitting president to stand down following his disastrous June 27 debate performance.

So far, 20 House Democrats and one Democratic senator have publicly asked Biden to do so, citing concerns about his cognitive fitness.

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Trump Jr. Says He’s Been Blacklisted by Fox News

Donald Trump Jr. said during an Axios House event on Tuesday that he’s been blacklisted from Fox News, although the network said in a statement that “he is and always has been welcome on all FOX News Media platforms.”

Trump Jr. also said that media mogul and Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch’s influence over the conservative media landscape “is not what it used to be.”

“There was a time where if you wanted to survive in the Republican Party, you had to bend the knee to to him or to others,” former President Trump’s eldest son told Axios’ Mike Allen on the second day of the convention.

“I don’t think that’s the case anymore.”

Trump Jr. was interviewed by Fox News correspondent Aishah Hasnie during a media scrum on Monday at the RNC.

“Prior to the Axios event, Fox & Friends asked him to appear on the show on Wednesday and he has since accepted that booking,” a Fox News spokesperson said in a statement.

“He is and always has been welcome on all Fox News Media platforms.”

Prior to Monday, Trump Jr. hadn’t been on Fox on a weekday in more than two years, according to Matthew Gertz of Media Matters.

Trump Jr. told Axios he was scheduled to be interviewed multiple times during that period but was bumped at the last minute. He believed that was because management had intervened to keep him off the air.

Trump Jr. is a powerful voice within Trump’s MAGA-wing of the GOP, and he’ll likely carry on his father’s legacy for decades to come.

Trump Jr.’s role as GOP kingmaker expanded on Monday, when Sen. J.D. Vance (R-Ohio) was named as Trump’s running mate.

Trump Jr. is a close friend of Vance’s and advocated for him to get the coveted job.

Trump Jr. is set to speak at the Republican National Convention on Wednesday just before Vance delivers his remarks.

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Senator Menendez Found Guilty in Bribery Scheme

Sen. Bob Menendez was found guilty on all counts Tuesday in his federal corruption trial.

Federal prosecutors in New York alleged the New Jersey Democrat accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes in the form of cash, gold bars, mortgage payments and more in exchange for the senator’s political clout. Three New Jersey businessmen who were also charged, along with the governments of Egypt and Qatar, were the alleged recipients. Two of those co-defendants, Wael Hana and Fred Daibes, were also convicted of all counts they faced.

The jury deliberated for about 13 hours over three days.

‘I have never, ever been a foreign agent,’ Menendez says

Menendez pleaded not guilty to 16 federal charges including bribery, fraud, acting as a foreign agent and obstruction. He said he plans to appeal his conviction and is “deeply disappointed” by the jury’s decision.

“I have never violated my oath,” he said outside the courthouse Tuesday. “I have never been anything but a patriot of my country and for my country. I have never, ever been a foreign agent.”

He added that the jury’s decision would “put at risk every member of the United States Senate in terms of what they think a foreign agent would be.”

Menendez did not respond to questions on whether he will resign.

He will be sentenced on Oct. 29 and faces decades in prison.

Calls to resign

Menendez is not required to resign despite his conviction, though could be expelled.

Majority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., called for his resignation immediately after the verdict.

“In light of this guilty verdict, Senator Menendez must now do what is right for his constituents, the Senate, and our country, and resign,” he said.

Sen. Cory Booker, Menendez’s New Jersey counterpart, and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy joined in the calls for his immediate resignation. If the senator refuses to vacate his office, Murphy said he will call on the U.S. Senate to expel him.

The Senate Ethics Committee said it will “promptly” complete the investigation into Menendez’s conduct that it undertook when the allegations against him first surfaced.

The committee said it will consider the “full range of disciplinary actions available under the Rules of Procedure,” which include expulsion and censure.

He is not required to resign despite his conviction, though could be expelled.

‘Shocking levels of corruption’

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams, whose office prosecuted the case, said following the verdict that this “has always been about shocking levels of corruption.”

“Hundreds of thousands of dollars of bribes, including gold, cash, and a Mercedes-Benz. This wasn’t politics as usual; this was politics for profit,” Williams said in a statement. “Because Senator Menendez has now been found guilty, his years of selling his office to the highest bidder have finally come to an end. Corruption isn’t costless: it erodes public trust, and it undermines the rule of law. That’s why we’re so committed to fighting it, regardless of political party.”

Prosecutors claimed Menendez, 70, “put his power up for sale” in exchange for the gold, envelopes stuffed with money, checks to his wife for a no-show job and a Mercedes-Benz convertible. The FBI found gold bars and more than $400,000 in cash stashed in places including jackets and shoes throughout his home, prosecutors said.

“It wasn’t enough for him to be one of the most powerful people in Washington,” federal prosecutor Paul Monteleoni said during his closing argument on July 8. “Robert Menendez wanted all that power and he also wanted to use it to pile up riches for himself and his wife.”

Defense derided DOJ’s case as ‘cherry-picked nonsense’

The defense, meanwhile, maintained that all of the actions in the indictment fell within the scope of Menendez’s position and that prosecutors failed to prove he took any bribes.

During his closing argument, defense attorney Adam Fee mocked the government’s case as “cherry-picked nonsense” and accused prosecutors of “fudging” the facts.

“The only honest verdict I submit here is to acquit him on each count,” Fee told the jury on July 9. “His actions were lawful, normal and good for the country.”

Menendez declined to testify in his own defense. While leaving court after the defense rested its case on July 3, he told reporters, “From my perspective, the government has failed to prove every aspect of its case.”

He said he expected his lawyers to present a “convincing and powerful summation” and that the jury would find him not guilty.

New Jersey businessmen, Menendez’s wife charged in case

Prosecutors told the jury that Menendez promised to use his power to help Egypt. According to the indictment, the arrangement was brokered by Hana, a New Jersey businessman and friend of Menendez’s wife, Nadine, who prosecutors said received the senator’s help preserving a halal meat monopoly.

Menendez was also accused of receiving a $60,000 Mercedes-Benz convertible in exchange for help disrupting a case by the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office.

Prosecutors said that in the spring of 2019, another New Jersey businessman, Jose Uribe, who pleaded guilty in the case, handed Nadine $15,000 in cash that she used as a down payment for the car. She texted Menendez, “Congratulations. We are the proud owners of a 2019 Mercedes,” according to prosecutors. Uribe kept making the monthly payments, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors claimed the senator promised a third businessman, Daibes, that he would interfere with Daibes’ federal prosecution and help the government of Qatar by supporting a Senate resolution praising the country.

Daibes’ fingerprints were found on the envelopes of cash found at Menendez’s home and serial numbers on the gold bars traced them to Daibes and Hana, according to prosecutors.

During the two months of testimony, jurors heard his sister explain why Menendez was caught with wads of cash stuffed into his embroidered congressional jacket: “It’s a Cuban thing,” Caridad Gonzalez said.

The defense also told jurors that Menendez and his wife, who has also been charged in the case, led separate lives and she had financial concerns that she kept from her husband.

Daibes and Hana pleaded not guilty to their charges. Uribe pleaded guilty and testified against the three defendants during the trial.

Menendez’s wife has pleaded not guilty to her charges and will be tried separately in August due to a medical condition. She is battling Grade 3 breast cancer, the senator revealed in mid-May at the beginning of the trial.

2nd corruption case against Menendez

Menendez, who has served as senator for New Jersey since 2006, is the first sitting member of Congress to be charged with conspiracy by a public official to act as a foreign agent.

In June, he filed a petition to get on the U.S. Senate ballot in New Jersey as an independent candidate.

He refused to resign, though he did step down as the chairman of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee following the initial indictment in September 2023.

This marked the second time the senator was charged with corruption. A 2015 indictment ended in a mistrial in 2018 after a jury failed to reach a verdict on all counts.

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RNC Day 2: Here’s What to Expect from the Second Night

Republicans from across the country are returning Tuesday to Milwaukee’s Fiserv Forum for Day 2 of the Republican National Convention, after a busy kickoff day that featured a formal nomination of former President Donald Trump, the highly anticipated announcement of his running mate — and Trump’s first public appearance since an attack on his life over the weekend.

Delegates gathered on the floor of Fiserv Forum Monday afternoon, where the GOP adopted its 16-page platform, which was heavily influenced by the former president. The delegates went on to officially nominate Trump as the Republican presidential nominee before nominating his vice presidential pick, Sen. JD Vance of Ohio. Trump first announced Vance as his running mate in a social media post, calling Vance the “person best suited” for the job while touting his education, military and business records.

A number of prominent Republican lawmakers, candidates and officials spoke on the first day of the convention, including Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, Gov. Glenn Youngkin of Virginia and Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Byron Donalds of Florida. With a focus on the economy, the Republicans took aim at President Biden, while touting a better outlook under a second Trump administration.

Near the night’s close, Trump made an appearance at the convention center. With a bandage on his ear, the former president joined members of his family and his new running mate in a box, as chants of “we love Trump” reverberated through the crowd. Trump is expected to accept the party’s nomination on Thursday, as the convention continues.

What’s on the agenda?

Each day of the convention features a theme that plays off of Trump’s “Make America Great Again” tagline. While Monday’s theme was “Make America Wealthy Once Again,” Tuesday’s theme is “Make America Safe Once Again.”

The theme is a nod to what the Trump campaign calls the Biden administration’s “soft-on-crime” policies that it says have created “dystopian nightmares” out of American cities and communities, which Trump plans to correct.

The first official session of the day gets underway at 5 p.m. CT, or 6 p.m. ET. For a detailed schedule of events, see the RNC’s master calendar on their website.

Who’s speaking?

A slew of GOP Senate candidates are set to take the stage, including Kari Lake, who’s seeking an Arizona seat. West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice, who’s also running for Senate, is on the schedule as well, as is Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders. And top members of House Republican leadership, including Speaker Mike Johnson, are set to address the convention.

Some of Trump’s former rivals in the primary — Vivek Ramaswamy, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley — are likewise expected to address the crowd. And Sen. Marco Rubio, who was a top contender for Trump’s vice presidential pick, will also speak.

Convention-goers will hear from the first Trump family member Tuesday night, RNC co-chair Lara Trump, who is married to his son Eric Trump.

Watch Live:

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Homeless Suspect Wielding Knives Shot Dead ‘In Back’ by Cops Near RNC

A knife-wielding homeless man who allegedly “heard voices” was shot dead outside the Republican National Convention Tuesday — marking the second fatality at a GOP event in days.

A witness at the scene told The Post that the man was swinging two steak knives at police about five blocks away from the GOP event’s headquarters — just two hours before the nation’s leading party members were slated to take the stage.

“He had this look in his eyes that was nothing I’ve ever seen before in four months of knowing him,” said Edward Watkins, a fellow homeless man who claimed to be the victim’s best friend.

Several eyewitnesses said the victim was “shot in the back” while he was trying to run away from security. At least eight gunshots were heard, with some claiming the bullets came from up to eight police officers.

The Columbus, Ohio, Fraternal Order of Police confirmed members of its department were involved in the shooting, but had little details about what led to the incident.

Alexi Worley, a spokesperson in the convention’s joint command center, said there was nothing to suggest the shooting was related to the convention itself.

A man claiming to be the victim’s brother told The Post that the unidentified man was homeless — there is a large “tent city” in the area.

Watkins identified the dead man as “Sam,” but said he was known to others in the encampment as “Jehovah,” referring to a voice Sam heard in his head.

It was known in the community that Sam “wanted to die,” Watkins said, adding that “Jehovah” made frequent appearances in the past few days.

“He just told me he was having these thoughts in his head. And he said, “Jehovah’s coming down.” And I believed him, because I hear voices, too,” Watkins said.

“So when he ran toward the front with the knives, I knew he was ready to go.”

Watkins claimed Sam wasn’t waving the knives at police or trying to engage with them when he was gunned down.

The grieving man did not know Sam’s last name and said that the two only knew one another for four months. Both lived in the tent city and did crack cocaine together, he said.

“That’s what we love to do. When we’re in Tent City, we feel we’re free,” Watkins said.

Milwaukee officials could not confirm the identity of the victim, though the county medical examiner confirmed an adult male was shot and killed.

The shooting comes just three days after former President Donald Trump was nearly assassinated in a shooting on Saturday. There has been a heavy police presence at the RNC throughout the week.

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US Received Intel of Iranian Plot to Assassinate Trump: CNN

US authorities obtained intelligence from a human source in recent weeks on a plot by Iran to try to assassinate Donald Trump, a development that led to the Secret Service increasing security around the former president, multiple people briefed on the matter told CNN.

There’s no indication that Thomas Matthew Crooks, the would-be assassin who attempted to kill the former president on Saturday, was connected to the plot, the sources said.

The existence of the intelligence threat from a hostile foreign intelligence agency — and the enhanced security for Trump — raises new questions about the security lapses at the Saturday rally in Butler, Pennsylvania, and how a 20-year-old man managed to access a nearby rooftop to fire shots that injured the former president.

A US national security official said the Secret Service and Trump campaign were made aware of the threat before Saturday’s rally.

“Secret Service learned of the increased threat from this threat stream,” the official told CNN. “NSC directly contacted USSS at a senior level to be absolutely sure they continued to track the latest reporting. USSS shared this information with the detail lead, and the Trump campaign was made aware of an evolving threat. In response to the increased threat, Secret Service surged resources and assets for the protection of former President Trump. All of this was in advance of Saturday.”

The Trump campaign would not disclose whether it was made aware of the Iran threat. “We do not comment on President Trump’s security detail. All questions should be directed to The United States Secret Service,” the campaign said in a statement.

Secret Service officials have warned the Trump campaign repeatedly against holding outdoor rallies, which pose greater risks than events to which the agency can better control access, people briefed on the matter said. The warnings have been more general in nature, the sources said.

“The Secret Service and other agencies are constantly receiving new potential threat information and taking action to adjust resources, as needed,” Anthony Guglielmi, an agency spokesman, said on Tuesday. “We cannot comment on any specific threat stream, other than to say that the Secret Service takes threats seriously and responds accordingly.”

At one point during this election cycle, the campaign stopped holding spontaneous off-the-record events where guests weren’t swept by Secret Service beforehand due to security concerns, a source familiar with the matter told CNN.

The FBI, which is conducting the investigation into Saturday’s shooting, declined to comment.

NSC spokesperson Adrienne Watson said there’s no known link between shooter Thomas Matthew Crooks and anyone else at the moment.

“The investigation of Saturday’s attempted assassination of former President Trump is active and ongoing. At this time, law enforcement has reported that their investigation has not identified ties between the shooter and any accomplice or co-conspirator, foreign or domestic,” Watson said.

The Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations denied there is an Iranian plot to assassinate Trump.

“These accusations are unsubstantiated and malicious. From the perspective of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Trump is a criminal who must be prosecuted and punished in a court of law for ordering the assassination of General Soleimani. Iran has chosen the legal path to bring him to justice,” a spokesperson for the mission told CNN.

Trump and the Republican vice presidential nominee, Sen. JD Vance of Ohio, will hold their first official campaign rally together on Saturday at an indoor arena in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the campaign announced Tuesday.

Surge of threats from Iranian state-backed media

Iran has repeatedly vowed revenge for the US military’s killing of Qasem Soleimani, the commander of the Iranian military’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, in January 2020. And former senior Trump administration officials who worked on national security have had tight security since leaving the government.

In August 2022, the Justice Department announced criminal charges against a member of the IRGC for allegedly trying to orchestrate the assassination of John Bolton, who served as Trump’s national security adviser. US prosecutors said the plot against Bolton was “likely in retaliation” for Soleimani’s assassination.

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was also a target of the Iranian assassination plot, according to a federal law enforcement source familiar with the investigation and a source close to Pompeo.

Trump’s former national security adviser, Robert O’Brien, had a US government security detail due to threats from Iran, like Pompeo and other former Trump officials, but that detail was dropped last summer, according to sources familiar with the matter. O’Brien is now paying for his own private security detail, sources said. Lawmakers were not given a specific reason for the decision, which led to frustration. O’Brien did not respond to a request for comment.

Bolton still has his Secret Service detail.

For months, law enforcement officials have been concerned about the persistent threat of Iran potentially attempting to assassinate former Trump officials and the former president himself, according to multiple sources familiar with the matter. But the recent intelligence suggested a significant uptick in the threat, the sources told CNN.

Warnings about that operational planning have coincided with a noticeable surge of online messaging from Iranian accounts and state-backed media mentioning Trump, which has raised security concerns among US officials, one of the sources told CNN.

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Inside What Trump’s Would-Be Assassin Did in the 24 Hours Before Rally Shooting

As investigators continue to puzzle over the motive behind the attempted assassination of former President Donald Trump, the shooter’s movements in the 24 hours leading up to the attack have come into focus — including a trip to a shooting range.

On Friday, Thomas Matthew Crooks visited the Clairton Sportsmen’s Club and practiced firing shots, a law enforcement official told CNN.

The club is about a 25-minute drive from the Bethel Park home where Crooks lived with his parents, the outlet noted.

Crooks’ father, Matthew Crooks, was also a member of the club, and the pair enjoyed going shooting there together, law enforcement said.

The club’s rifle range is about 200 yards long, CNN reported — longer than the distance between Crooks and Trump when the former fired from a rooftop the following day.

“The Club fully admonishes the senseless act of violence that occurred,” a lawyer for the organization, Rob Bootay, told the outlet.

Bootay declined to “make any additional commentary in relation to this matter in light of pending law enforcement investigations.”

On Saturday morning, Crooks bought 50 rounds of ammunition at Allegheny Arms and Gun Works in Bethel Park.

The store bills itself as a “one-stop shop for all your firearm, ammo and accessory needs.”

“As a responsible member of our community it is our prerogative to cooperate with law enforcement in every way,” a gunsmith at the store, Josh Rowe. said in a statement to The Post.

After his stop at the gun shop, Crooks went to a Home Depot, where he purchased a five-foot ladder. A receipt for the ladder was later found in his pocket.

“We condemn the violence against former President Trump, and our thoughts are with him, the other victims of Saturday’s horrific events, and their families,” a spokesperson for the retailer said.

As of Tuesday, it was not immediately clear if Crooks used the newly purchased ammunition or the ladder in his attack on the Trump rally — though he did use a ladder to scale the roof of the factory to stake out the crowd.

Crooks drove his Hyundai Sonata one hour north to the rally at the Butler Farm Show grounds, where thousands of Trump supporters gathered to see the former president’s speech ahead of the Republican National Convention in Wisconsin.

He was observed by cops at least twice 26 minutes before the shooting, when he was able to scale the roof of a nearby manufacturing plant unchallenged.

At 6:11 p.m., Crooks fired several shots from about 130 yards away from Trump — grazing the former president, killing one rallygoer and injuring two others — before he was shot and killed by the Secret Service.

He used an AR-style rifle that was registered to his father. The weapon — as well as the over 20 other guns registered to Matthew Crooks — was purchased legally.

Investigators found an explosive device in Crooks’ car and a transmitter on his body, suggesting that he may have intended to stage a distraction during the shooting.

Days later, however, investigators are still at a loss as to what may have driven Crooks — whom a former school counselor described as “quiet” and not particularly political — to target Trump.

The Bethel Park High School graduate’s phone yielded little evidence, and even his laptop showed typical online activities, including an interest in gaming and coding, CNN said.

Matthew Crooks — who called the police sometime Saturday to report his son and his gun missing — and the shooter’s mother have cooperated with law enforcement, sources said.

Both parents indicated that Crooks did not appear to have friends and did not have any obvious political allegiances — though they were also somewhat clueless about recent developments in his life, law enforcement told CNN.

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House Dems Plot Last-Ditch Effort to Delay Biden Nomination

Dozens of House Democrats are organizing a plan to speak out against their own party’s effort to seal President Joe Biden’s nomination sooner than originally planned, which they argue stifles the intense ongoing debate about his candidacy, according to a lawmaker involved in the effort.

A drafted letter, circulated by Rep. Jared Huffman (D-Calif.) and obtained by POLITICO, offers the first public signal from Democrats since the weekend’s attempted assassination on former President Donald Trump that scores of their own members remain deeply unsettled about the future of Biden’s candidacy.

“It’s a really bad move by the DNC. Somebody thinks it’s a clever way to lock down debate and I guess by dint of sheer force, achieve unity, but it doesn’t work that way,” Huffman said in an interview. He declined to confirm the existence of a letter.

The missive from this group of Democrats does not specifically call for Biden to leave the race — and, in fact, specifically states that it represents a “spectrum” of views. Even so, many Democrats who have been privately pleading for more of their colleagues to call on Biden to end his campaign saw this as a potentially watershed moment after weeks of mostly private discussions about the party’s dilemma.

The push for a new nominee — which had been effectively frozen by last weekend’s shooting — has returned to public view, and House Democrats now appear to be seriously organizing for the first time. There’s also a clear deadline to take action that multiple Democrats privately said they hoped would push their leaders, such as House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries or former Speaker Nancy Pelosi, to take more decisive action themselves.

A draft of the letter, which was first reported by The New York Times, urges DNC members against holding a virtual roll call, instead of the customary timing during the convention in Chicago later next month. It insists that there is “no legal justification for this extraordinary and unprecedented action which would effectively accelerate the nomination process by nearly a month.”

It goes on to suggest that some of the signatories have called for Biden to step aside and others haven’t, but “all of us, however, agree that stifling debate and prematurely shutting down any possible change in the Democratic ticket through an unnecessary and unprecedented ‘virtual roll call’ in the days ahead is a terrible idea,” the letter continued.

“It could deeply undermine the morale and unity of Democrats — from delegates, volunteers, grassroots organizers and donors to ordinary voters — at the worst possible time.”

The move comes three days before the Democratic National Convention rules committee is scheduled to meet, when they are expected to vote on setting up the rules and dates for a virtual roll call vote.

That virtual roll call was initially authorized to address ballot access problems in Ohio, which had set its ballot deadline for Aug. 7. But Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine signed a law that moved the date to Aug. 23, one day after the DNC convention is scheduled to end. But some Democrats have argued that since the law doesn’t go into effect until Sept. 1, Republicans could still move to keep the party’s nominee off the ballot, they said.

“The train has left the station, so the only way you can express it is in an amendment to the [convention] rules [committee] on Friday. But you can’t do it through the press,” said Donna Brazile, the former chair of the DNC.

But Brazile argued that the DNC did this in good faith, adding that they “made this decision after we’d learned about the nefarious actions [of states], including Ohio, so why would we put the freedom of the Democratic Party in the hands of a few nefarious actors?”

“The suggestion that the timeline for the virtual roll call has been accelerated is false,” DNC Chair Jaime Harrison said in a statement. “The timeline for the virtual roll call process remains on schedule and unchanged from when the DNC made that decision in May.”

It’s unclear whether the letter will prompt more Democrats to come forward with their concerns about Biden’s electability — rather than their concerns about the party nomination process.

“It felt like the dam was about to break” before Saturday night, said one Democratic lawmaker with concerns about Biden, who was granted anonymity to discuss the effort. “Everybody appropriately took a step back, the pressure valve was somewhat released. We all knew it would be just days before that energy would return.”

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Musk Announces SpaceX and X Move to Texas Over New California Trans Law

Elon Musk said on Tuesday that he will move the headquarters of SpaceX and X to Texas in response to a new California law banning schools from notifying parents if their child starts identifying as a different gender.

SpaceX, which employs thousands of employees, is based in Los Angeles County. X, the social media company formerly known as Twitter, is based in San Francisco. Musk, who founded SpaceX in 2002 and bought Twitter in 2022, announced the move on social media a day after California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the controversial legislation into law.

“This is the final straw,” Musk said. “Because of this law and the many others that preceded it, attacking both families and companies, SpaceX will now move its HQ from Hawthorne, California, to Starbase, Texas.”

“I did make it clear to Governor Newsom about a year ago that laws of this nature would force families and companies to leave California to protect their children,” he added.

The announcement comes a few years after Musk already moved the headquarters of another of companies, Tesla, from California to Texas.

The California law in question — AB 1955, dubbed the SAFETY Act — makes California the first state in the country to ban school districts from requiring that teachers tell parents if their children do things like change the pronouns they use or go by a different gender than what is tied to their school record.

During the pandemic, several companies relocated from California to states like Texas and Florida that have lower taxes, regulations, and more relaxed COVID-19 business restrictions.

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Exiled Chinese Billionaire Guo Convicted at US Fraud Trial

A New York jury on Tuesday convicted controversial China critic Guo Wengui of bilking his followers out of more than $1 billion to sustain his lavish lifestyle.

Guo was found guilty on nine of the 12 federal charges against him, including a broad racketeering count and some of the related fraud charges. Several of the counts carry potential sentences of 20 years in prison, and Guo faces forfeiture of assets. Judge Analisa Torres scheduled sentencing for Nov. 19. Guo has been in federal custody without bail since March 2023.

The felony conviction punctuates the bizarre saga of Guo, a tycoon of many aliases such as Miles Guo and Brother Seven, who crafted an image as a wealthy Chinese insider turned Beijing’s No. 1 enemy. It could ultimately sink his asylum application to remain in the U.S., far from Beijing authorities who have made no secret of their desire to punish him.

Guo remained unflappable as the jury’s verdict was read, in line with the confident demeanor he projected most days of the trial. In an impeccable Italian suit, he often greeted supporters in the gallery by pressing his palms together or thumping his chest. He is expected to appeal.

During 29 days of testimony, prosecutors said Guo’s actions unfolded as he was under Chinese Communist Party pressure but dismissed any suggestion that excused his criminality.

The jury deliberated over four days, though hiccups lengthened the process after the judge dismissed a juror for using the internet to research an alleged co-conspirator in the case.

The government said Guo leveraged his popularity in the Chinese diaspora to pitch his schemes as ways to make money and simultaneously undermine the Communist Party. His broadcaster GTV raised $411 million, an operation called G-Club $240 million and a cryptocurrency venture $517 million, the government said.

Online, Guo touted investments as legitimate ventures backed by gold or his own personal guarantees. In fact, prosecutors said, associates helped Guo move hundreds of millions in investor money through multiple banks and shell companies for his personal benefit as he faced financial challenges.

“Guo claimed to be a political activist, and he sucked people in. He brainwashed some of them, he convinced them he could help them, that he was trustworthy. He attracted people like a magnet, people who agreed with his message,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan Finkel told the jury. “He conned them. He scammed them. He defrauded them,” Finkel said.

To generate momentum for his movement, which Guo called New Federal State of China, he also funneled millions of dollars toward prominent American critics of Beijing, including former Trump adviser Steve Bannon and hedge-fund manager Kyle Bass, prosecutors said. The government said both men helped Guo make the investments appear credible, though neither was charged.

Jurors saw video of Bannon announcing plans for Guo to pump $100 million into one organization that didn’t materialize, and evidence was introduced showing Bass’s hedge fund lost some $30 million of investor money in an ill-fated currency bet.

Bannon, who is serving prison time on an unrelated case, hasn’t commented on the charges against Guo. Bass had been expected to testify for the government in the case but wasn’t called. In an email, Bass said he didn’t have an indication of any fraudulent behavior by Guo or any knowledge of how his own name was used until informed by the government, when he took steps to distance himself from Guo.

Guo likely faces a lengthy prison sentence and the conviction will complicate his own legal status in the U.S., even if the government stops short of extraditing him to China, said Christopher Pelham, a former federal prosecutor who is head of litigation and disputes for law firm Norton Rose Fulbright’s global investigations team. But Pelham said Guo’s conviction on fraud charges, even as he claimed to be an at-risk dissident, could make the U.S. “that much more skeptical” about others from China who make asylum claims.

The jury saw photos and videos of dazzling properties in New York, Connecticut and New Jersey, a Lamborghini, a Bugatti and a Ferrari plus a yacht and racks of Italian suits, all luxuries the government said were paid for with money from supporters. Prosecutors played music videos featuring Guo on board a yacht and next to a private jet and produced flow charts and bank statements they said showed how investor millions paid for a mansion, chandeliers, mattresses and a Ferrari for Guo’s son.

Guo contested the charges but didn’t testify.

His defense team said Guo and his large family had accumulated extraordinary wealth and didn’t need to steal. They presented evidence that many of the assets the government alleged were paid for with ill-gotten funds weren’t in Guo’s name and said homes, cars and boats were earmarked for use by Guo’s followers. And, they said, any financial subterfuge reflected efforts to outmaneuver Beijing, which tried to compel banks to shut Guo out.

“Mr. Guo didn’t care about the money. He cared about the movement,” said defense attorney Sidhardha Kamaraju.

The defense said Guo’s followers put money in the endeavors not for returns, but to further a shared aim of undermining the Chinese Communist Party. “It’s not a racketeering enterprise, it’s a political one,” Kamaraju said.

Early in the trial, another defense attorney, Sabrina Shroff, told jurors Guo’s outspokenness led to the imprisonment of relatives in China and security threats to himself——prompting the defendant to sob for several minutes into the lapel of his suit.

Beijing has labeled Guo an attention-seeking criminal fugitive, sending its agents to hunt him down. Through American intermediaries, China leaned on the Trump administration to push him out of the U.S. The defense’s final witness was former Justice Department lawyer George Higginbotham, who testified to trying to broker Guo’s removal from the U.S. in a roughly $100 million deal backed by Chinese authorities and a fugitive Malaysian, Jho Low, who is wanted in the U.S. on charges related to the billion-dollar theft from a Malaysian development fund.

Prosecutors argued China’s actions were no excuse for lawbreaking. “The [Communist Party] canard is a scapegoat,” said Finkel.

They contend Guo began scheming after Chinese authorities in 2018 seized a fortune he had made developing property in China—and doubled down when one of his ventures got tripped up by American securities regulators. He filed for personal bankruptcy in 2022, declaring assets of no more than $100,000 and liabilities between $100 million and $500 million. “He no longer had the ability to project that he was a billionaire,” Finkel said.

Among the over 30 witnesses called by the government were immigrants from China who said they poured large sums into Guo’s ventures because they shared his criticism of Beijing and were convinced he was investing alongside them.

Wei Chen, a China-born bank risk-manager who lives in Virginia, said she was eager to participate in a private placement of shares in Guo’s media company after hearing him describe it as a risk-free investment in a business that might rival YouTube. “I trusted him,” she said.

She testified that she is still owed $1.1 million from investing in ventures promoted by Guo, which she funded in part with a second home mortgage.

“He’s [a] shameless and heartless cheater and fraudster,” she said from the witness stand.

Other prosecution witnesses included a man hired by Guo’s organization who testified to lying to banks “to make sure that accounts get opened and stay open” amid a flurry of wire transfers between entities.

The jury also heard about Guo’s eccentricities, including concern over buying a haunted property and hiring a security guard born under an “unlucky” Chinese zodiac symbol, the pig.

Dozens of Guo supporters squeezed into the courtroom each day, some alleging he was prosecuted under a corrupt deal between Beijing and Washington. More than once Torres ordered Guo’s attorneys not to suggest any such thing to the jury: “And you’re not going to be implying at any point that the government is being manipulated by the Chinese government or the Chinese Communist Party, correct?” she said in one sidebar.

The defense team said that wasn’t their position, though Kamaraju nevertheless told the jury, “for Mr. Guo, it’s certainly reasonable for him to fear that the CCP had once again tried to use the channels of the U.S. government against him.”

Among those in the courtroom for some of the trial were retired Chinese soccer star Hao Haidong with his wife, former badminton world champion Ye Zhaoying, sometimes dressed in clothes from Guo’s fashion line. The couple made waves in China in 2020 for saying that Guo’s videos had inspired them to publicly denounce the Communist Party.

People who said they were Guo’s victims also attended, including Yu Renzhe, who claimed losses around $250,000. Partly in a bid to recover his money which he invested while in China, Yu flew to Ecuador and made his way to the southern U.S. border and now lives in a New York shelter. Outside the courthouse after the verdict was announced, a Guo supporter punched Yu and he was bleeding.

One witness for the defense, Paul Doran, a corporate risk adviser with experience in China, described Guo as “public enemy No. 1 in China” and said good security practice for such a person would be to have multiple bank accounts and mobile phones, as Guo did.

A government lawyer then asked Doran, “Sleeping on a $35,000 mattress has nothing to do with protecting yourself from CCP targeting, right?”

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Elon Musk to Give $45 Million a Month to Pro-Trump Super PAC: WSJ

Elon Musk has said he is planning to pledge about $45 million a month to a newly formed super PAC backing former President Donald Trump’s White House bid, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Musk had not given any money to that group, called America PAC, as of the end of June, according to a quarterly financial filing submitted to the Federal Election Commission on Monday evening.

It is unclear if he has donated in July.

But the super PAC, which was formed in late May, has received contributions from other high-profile entrepreneurs, including Palantir co-founder Joe Lonsdale and crypto billionaires Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, the filing showed.

Lonsdale donated $1 million to America PAC through Lonsdale Enterprises, an entity linked to the eponymous tech investor, multiple outlets reported.

The Winklevoss twins each donated $250,000 to the super PAC, the FEC filing showed.

America PAC brought in $8.8 million and spent $7.8 million between its inception and the end of June, leaving it with just under $1 million in cash on hand, according to the FEC filing.

Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX and one of the world’s richest people, officially endorsed Trump on Saturday, minutes after the Republican presidential nominee survived an assassination attempt at a campaign rally.

The report of Musk’s pledge to help Trump defeat President Joe Biden came on the first day of the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee, where Trump secured enough delegates to officially become the GOP nominee.

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RNC Day One: Top Takeaways

The first day of the Republican National Convention (RNC) saw the party enthusiastically take part in its traditional nominating gathering even under the shadow of the shooting at Donald Trump’s rally just 48 hours earlier.

Delegates formally nominated Trump as the party’s nominee, and the former president finally revealed Sen. JD Vance (R-Ohio) as his running mate to much fanfare among attendees. Speakers throughout the day acknowledged the attempted assassination, but mostly sought to present an uplifting message calling on conservatives to come together to win back the White House.

Here are five takeaways from the RNC’s first day:

The shooting didn’t put a damper on the festivities

Just a day before the former president touched down in Milwaukee, he nearly lost his life when a gunman fired into his rally in Butler, Pa., grazing Trump’s ear with a bullet and killing one attendee.

Despite the shocking events, Trump charged forward with his plans to attend the convention, though many observers expected the shooting to cast a dark shadow over the GOP gathering.

Instead, the convention crowd was its usual boisterous self as it celebrated Trump’s ascension to the official party nomination.

Republican National Committee (RNC) Chair Michael Whatley opened up the convention with a moment of silence for the deceased as well as two people who were injured.

But delegates were quickly absorbed by the convention, cheering “fight” and “USA” on multiple occasions.

Other speakers acknowledged the somber development in the context of the 2024 campaign, but the first day of the convention largely focused on the nomination votes, Trump’s VP reveal and the first bout of speeches.

Whether the incident could take up more of the spotlight as the week goes on — with Vance and Trump both slated to speak later — remains to be seen, but the dramatic assassination attempt clearly didn’t put a damper on the convention kickoff.

Republicans are feeling good about November

Nominating conventions are usually exuberant affairs with the most die-hard supporters in attendance expressing lofty hopes for what may come the party’s way in November. But this convention in particular has been energized by GOP optimism for November.

The event comes not just days after the attempted assassination — which Republicans believe will juice up enthusiasm — but also amid growing uncertainty for President Biden, who is facing calls to step down after a dismal debate performance and low poll numbers.

Meanwhile, Republicans have made clear they’re rallying around Trump, and that recent events are putting them in a prime position to have a winning election.

The most prominent example came during the roll call of states to record the votes for Trump to be the nominee, when the delegates for New York and New Jersey, two solidly Democratic states, said they believe Trump will have a shot at winning them in November.

Trump has talked about expanding the map for Republicans beyond the states they normally compete in, and though states like New York remain longshots, the GOP is putting on a show of optimism.

“We believe that President Donald J. Trump will be the first Republican in a generation who will win New York state,” said Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) as she announced the state’s delegates going to Trump.

“The state of New Jersey, the state where President Donald J. Trump has invested heavily, and we think and we know that he can win New Jersey this year,” said New Jersey state Sen. Michael Testa (R).

Even if Trump can’t take these states, these pronouncements symbolize the offensive Republicans have gone on recently, looking at states like Virginia and Minnesota and with Trump visiting traditionally liberal areas.

“Is there any doubt who’s going to be the next president of the United States?” country singer Lee Greenwood asked the crowd on stage at night, which attendees responding to with cheers and waving “Trump” signs.

Vance got a warm reception

Trump ended months of “veepstakes” suspense when he announced Ohio Sen. JD Vance as his running mate, elevating his former critic to be his right-hand man.

Vance got a warm reception from the convention crowd, and support from other prominent Republicans poured in.

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio – who were also seen as likely picks for Trump’s ticket – congratulated Vance on social media.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich hailed Vance as a “spectacular vice president” for Trump.

South Dakota Sen. John Thune said the addition of Vance to Trump’s presidential ticket is going to get the U.S. “back on track.”

Other congressional Republicans heaped praise on the “Hillbilly Elegy” author, casting the move as cementing the “MAGA” ticket for 2024.

Democrats, on the other hand, were quick to slam the newly minted running mate. Biden knocked Vance on X minutes after the announcement, and his campaign argued Vance will enable the former president.

Still, the positive reception from GOP attendees is welcome news for the Trump campaign after months of chatter over who will take on the role once held by ex-Vice President Mike Pence, who ran against Trump this cycle and has said he won’t endorse his former boss.

Republicans emphasized unity over attacks

In the wake of the assassination attempt against Trump, Republicans on Monday worked to emphasize unity instead of divisive attacks.

Vivek Ramaswamy, who ran against Trump in the GOP primary this cycle, said during an appearance with the Politico-CNN Grill that Trump must “fight fire with water” and urged both parties to “quit blaming the other side.”

Other prominent Republicans used their speeches to declare that now is the time for the party to rally together around Trump, including Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.), South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.).

“Donald Trump believes every parent deserves a choice, and every child deserves a chance,” Donalds said. “In November, when Donald Trump is elected our nation’s 47th president, we will make sure all America’s children get that chance.”

An exception was Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), who in a speech referred to Democrats’ agenda as a “clear and present danger.” But he later told PBS News that the teleprompter had loaded an earlier version of his remarks, and that a revised edition had focused more on unity.

The former president himself has called for Americans to “stand united” after the incident,

At the same time, some on both sides are skeptical that the calls for unity will stick, given the polarized country and competitive presidential race.

Trump made his first public appearance since shooting

Trump made his first public appearance since the shooting in Butler when he stepped into the RNC convention hall to massive applause toward the end of the evening.

The former president was wearing a bandage over his right ear, which he said on Truth Social was hit with a bullet at the rally.

Trump immediately sought to project strength moments after the shooting, raising his fist to the crowd at his rally. He appeared to repeat that gesture when he entered the audience on Monday night.

He took his place next to Vance, his newly-named running mate – and was spotted in his box next to former Fox News host Tucker Carlson, Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.) and Speaker Mike Johnson.

The crowd was visibility excited to see him, bursting into applause the moment he appeared on screen. At the conclusion of the night, when Whatley said the party is grateful to have him as their nominee, attendees yelled “We want Trump.”

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Takeaways from Biden’s Interview with NBC News

President Biden sat down for an interview with NBC News anchor Lester Holt on Monday in the aftermath of the shooting at a rally held by former President Trump that has shaken up the 2024 race for the White House.

The president was pressed on his own rhetoric as he also called for Americans to cool down the temperature this campaign season. He was also questioned about his debate performance and the subsequent calls among Democrats for him to step aside.

NBC aired the whole roughly 18-minute interview with Biden, which took place at the White House on Monday afternoon during an action-packed first day of the Republican National Convention.

Here are five notable moments from the interview.

Biden, Trump had ‘cordial’ conservation

Biden described his conversation with Trump after the shooting as “cordial” and said it was largely about the president’s concern for his political rival after a bullet grazed his ear while speaking at the Pennsylvania rally.

“Very cordial. I told him how concerned I was and wanted to make sure I knew how he was actually doing. He sounded good, he said he was fine and he thanked me for calling,” Biden said. “I told him he was literally in the prayers of Jill and me, and I hope his whole family was weathering this.”

Biden and Trump’s phone call took place on Saturday night, just hours after the shooting. Biden told reporters earlier that night that he had tried to get a hold of Trump and hoped to speak with him. Since they spoke, first lady Jill Biden and former first lady Melania Trump also spoke on the phone.

The president was attending church in Rehoboth, Del., at the time of the shooting. Holt asked him for his first reaction to the news of the incident and he responded, “My first reaction was, ‘my God. This is.’ Look, there’s so much violence now.”

Biden pushes back on Holt’s questions

Biden at times sparred with Holt over his line of questioning, appearing frustrated and pressing the NBC News anchor on media coverage, particularly in the aftermath of the debate.

At one point Holt asked Biden if he would consider debating Trump again before the next scheduled debate on Sept. 10.

“…if the opportunity came up to do one between now and then? Is there — is there a sense of wanting to get back on the horse? Holt asked Biden toward the end of the interview, referring to doing another debate before September.

“I’m on the horse. Where have you been?” Biden pushed back. “I’ve done 22 major events, met thousands of people, overwhelming crowds. A lot’s happening. I’m on the horse.”

During another part of the conversation in which Holt referred to remarks made by Sen. JD Vance (R-Ohio) about Biden, the president suggested that Holt was skimming over remarks Vance, a former Trump critic, had also made about the former president before becoming his 2024 running mate.

“[Vance] says some things about me, but see what he said about Trump,” Biden said. “What’s with you guys? Come on, man.”

It was perhaps one of Biden most notable push backs on the media in an interview with a news outlet, already coming at a sensitive time in his presidency as he’s faced calls within his party to step down. He remained assertive during the interview, despite it producing some awkward moments.

“Sometimes come and talk to me about what we should be talking about,” Biden challenged Holt at the end of the conversation.

Suggests ‘bullseye’ remark was a ‘mistake’

Biden suggested that it may have been a mistake to use the word “bullseye” while talking about Trump on a call with donors last week when Holt asked about the renewed attention around those remarks in the aftermath of the shooting.

“It was, it was a mistake to use the word. I didn’t mean— I didn’t say cross-hairs. I meant bullseye, I meant focus on him. Focus on what he’s doing. Focus on, on his… policies. Focus on the number of lies he told in the debate” Biden said.

On a call with donors last week, amid pressure from Democrats for him to drop out of the race, Biden said, “It’s time to put Trump in the bullseye.”

The president also pushed back when Holt asked if he’s taken a step back and done any soul-searching on things he has said that could incite people who are not “balanced.”

“How do you talk about the threat to democracy, which is real, when a president says things like he says?” Biden said. “Do you just not say anything because it might incite somebody? I have not engaged in that rhetoric.”

Trump’s legal woes come up

During the interview, the president said he was “not surprised” by Judge Aileen Cannon’s decision earlier in the day to dismiss Trump’s case regarding his handling of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago.

His answer quickly pivoted to the Supreme Court’s immunity decision, in which Judge Clarence Thomas questioned the legality of the appointment of special counsel Jack Smith. Cannon dismissed Trump’s case by ruling that Smith had been appointed unlawfully.

“It comes from the immunity decision the Supreme Court… and [Justice] Clarence Thomas, in his dissent, said that independent prosecutors appointed by the attorney general aren’t legit. That’s the basis on which this judge moved to dismiss,” Biden said.

Thomas wrote as part of his concurrence: “I write separately to highlight another way in which this prosecution may violate our constitutional structure. 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.”

Biden also brought up his own investigation involving classified documents that turned up at his home and an old office he used after he left the vice presidency.

“I had an independent prosecutor look at me. They spent months on my– going through and I was totally cooperative. In and out of my house,” he explained.

“There were, like, 10, 12 agents in my house for nine hours unaccompanied going through every single thing I had. That’s appropriate. And they looked at me and concluded I didn’t do a damn thing wrong.”

Biden shares thoughts on Vance

Biden’s interview with NBC took place just hours after Trump announced that Vance would be his vice presidential pick on day one of the Republican National Convention.

Vance in the past heavily criticized Trump describing him as a “cynical asshole” and “America’s Hitler.” Vance has since become a close Trump ally. Biden said he was not shocked by Vance as Trump’s pick.

“Well, it’s not unusual. He’s going to surround himself with people who agree completely with him. Have a voting record, that support him. Even though if you go back and listen to the things JD Vance said about Trump,” Biden said, laughing.

The president said that Vance believes in no exceptions on abortion, supports Trump’s plan for tax cuts, and doesn’t believe in climate change. The senator said in 2021 that “two wrongs don’t make a right” when asked whether abortion laws should allow for exceptions for rape and incest and he has minimized the threat of climate change, saying in 2022 that the U.S. doens’t need to “destory the economy to deal with” it.

“I mean, he signed on to the Trump agenda, which he should if he’s running with Trump,” Biden added.

Watch the full interview:

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Law Enforcement Spotted Trump Shooter Nearly 30 Minutes Before Shots Fired

Channel 11 News uncovered dramatic new details Monday in the moments leading up to the assassination attempt on former president Donald Trump.

According to multiple law enforcement sources, Thomas Crooks was spotted by law enforcement on a roof nearly 30 minutes before shots were fired that injured Trump, killed a former fire chief and injured two others in the crowd.

Channel 11′s Nicole Ford confirmed that Beaver County’s ESU team had eight members at the rally, including snipers and spotters.

According to Ford’s sources, one of them noticed a suspicious man on a roof near the rally at 5:45 p.m., called it in and took a picture of the person. We have learned from our sources the person in that picture is Thomas Crooks. We’re told it’s not clear if Crooks had a gun with him at that point.

According to multiple sources, a law enforcement officer had also previously seen Crooks on the ground and called him in as a suspicious person with a picture prior to 5:45 p.m. Our sources tell us an officer checked the grounds for Crooks at that point, but did not see him where the first picture was taken.

26 minutes after the second picture of Crooks was taken by law enforcement and the information called in, shots were fired from the roof of the American Glass Research building. Seconds later, a Secret Service sniper returned fire and killed Crooks.

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