Mar-a-Lago search: Media lawyers seek full affidavit
News organizations said they will continue to push for the release of a document that would reveal why the Justice Department asked to search former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida. At a hearing on Thursday, attorneys for more than a dozen media companies are expected to acknowledge the U.S. Justice Department’s concerns that the release of the entire probable cause affidavit could “irreparably harm” its ongoing investigation. According to Martin Reeder, the attorney who represents The Palm Beach Post, which is part of the USA TODAY Network, the attorneys pushed back against federal prosecutors’ claims that the entire document should be kept from the public. Rather than sealing the entire document, as prosecutors want, they will ask U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart to release as much information as possible.
Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg expected to plead guilty in tax evasion case
Former President Donald Trump’s longtime finance chief is expected to plead guilty as soon as Thursday in a tax evasion case that is the only criminal prosecution to arise from a long-running investigation into the former president’s company, three people familiar with the matter told The Associated Press. Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg was scheduled to be tried in October on allegations he took more than $1.7 million in off-the-books compensation from the company, including rent, car payments and school tuition. The people who spoke to the AP did so on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the case. They said the purpose of Thursday’s hearing was for Weisselberg to enter a guilty plea, but cautioned that plea deals sometimes fall apart before they are finalized in court.
Will Gov. Brian Kemp testify Thursday? Not if his lawyers can help it.
Lawyers for Republican Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp on Wednesday asked the judge overseeing the special grand jury in Atlanta investigating interference in the 2020 election to quash a subpoena for him to testify Thursday. Kemp had been scheduled to sit for a video recorded voluntary interview on July 25, but Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ team canceled that and issued a subpoena after Kemp’s attorneys asked about the scope of the interview, Kemp’s motion says. Kemp’s attorneys are asserting that he was being pursued for “improper political purposes” and that local prosecutors had “engineered the governor’s interaction with the investigation to reach a crescendo in the middle of an election cycle.” Meanwhile, former President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani said Wednesday he had “satisfied his obligation” after facing hours of questioning Wednesday by the special grand jury in Georgia as a target of the probe. Giuliani didn’t provide any additional details about his appearance or testimony.
US to hold trade talks with Taiwan in new show of support amid tensions with Beijing
The U.S. government plans to hold talks with Taiwan on a wide-ranging trade treaty in a sign of support for the self-ruled island that China claims as its own territory, the U.S. Trade Representative’s office announced Thursday. It comes after Beijing held military drills to intimidate Taiwan following a visit by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi earlier this month. The U.S. Trade Representative’s office said the “formal negotiations” were meant to enhance trade and regulatory cooperation, which would entail closer official interaction. President Joe Biden’s coordinator for the Indo-Pacific region, Kurt Campbell, told reporters last week that trade talks would be part of efforts to “deepen our ties with Taiwan,” though he said U.S. policy wasn’t changing. The White House has said Pelosi’s visit does not signal a shift in its one-China policy, which acknowledges that Taiwan is part of China. Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen met Monday with a five-member delegation of U.S. Congress members, prompting to China announce more military drills.
She-Hulk: She’s big, green, and one heck of lawyer
Emmy winner Tatiana Maslany takes on the role of embattled legal eagle Jen Walters – and her 6-foot-7 muscular green alter ego – in “She-Hulk: Attorney at Law,” which premiered early Thursday on Disney+. After accidentally being exposed to the blood of her cousin Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo), aka the Hulk, Jen gains similar transformative abilities, and, later, ends up running the superhuman law department at a fancy firm. Maslany breaks the mold of the Marvel Cinematic Universe – as well as the fourth wall – as She-Hulk hangs with friends, navigates the world of modern dating and punches people in a courtroom as needed.
Contributing: The Associated Press