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Wednesday, May 29th

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Judge Merchan Slams Trump Lawyer's 'Outrageous' Comment

Judge MarchanJudge Juan Merchan chastised Donald Trump's attorney, Todd Blanche, during closing arguments Tuesday in the ex-president's hush money criminal trial.

Blanche, according to sources in the courtroom, told the jury that Trump could be imprisoned if they convicted him.

"That was outrageous, Mr. Blanche," Merchan said. "Someone who's been a prosecutor as long as you have, someone who's been an attorney as long as you have knows that it's highly inappropriate."

The judge then said that he would provide curative instruction to the jury when they returned from their break.

Newsweek's Katherine Fung, who is inside the courtroom, reported that Merchan addressed the jury upon their return from break—providing instructions about Blanche's prison comment and informing them that he will be the one to decide sentencing.

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Donald Trump sells private jet to Republican donor amid cash squeeze

Trump sells one of two private planes

With more than $500m in court fines on his back, Donald Trump has sold one of the two private jets he owns to a major Republican donor.

According to FAA records, the former US president transferred ownership of the 1997 Cessna Citation X on 13 May. While it is unclear how much he sold the plane for, the private aviation company evoJets estimates a Citation X costs about $8.5m to $10m.

While FAA records do not name an individual who now owns the plane, the agency lists a Dallas-based holding company called MM Fleet Holdings LLC as the owner of the plane.

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Judge in Donald Trump's classified documents case rejects gag request from prosecutors

Aileen CanonThe federal judge in former President Donald Trump's classified documents case rejected a request Tuesday from prosecutors to prohibit him from commenting on FBI agents who seized the records at Mar-a-Lago. She also refused a defense request to hold the prosecutors in contempt merely for requesting the order.

U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon found Justice Department special counsel Jack Smith's urgent request Friday for the gag order "wholly lacking in substance in professional courtesy." She ruled that prosecutors should have taken time to meet with Trump's lawyers, as the Trump team requested, to address the defense's concerns.

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‘No wannabe dictators!’: Donald Trump booed at Libertarian convention

Libertarian convention

Donald Trump, the former US president, has suffered the rare humiliation of getting booed and heckled during a raucous speech to the Libertarian National Convention.

Trump’s rocky ride at a Washington hotel on Saturday night, including cries of “Bullshit!” and “Fuck you!”, underlined the challenge that the Republican presidential nominee faces to broaden his appeal both left and right on the political spectrum.

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The rightwing plan to take over ‘sanctuary’ cities – and rebuild them Maga-style

Project 25

To hear Donald Trump tell it, America’s cities are in dire shape and in need of a federal intervention.

“We’re going to rebuild our cities into beacons of hope, safety and beauty – better than they have ever been before,” he said during a recent speech to the National Rifle Association in what has become a common refrain on the campaign trail. “We will take over the horribly run capital of our nation, Washington DC.”

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US bans maker of spyware used to target government officials, journalists

Treasury Dept. limits use of spyware

The Treasury Department banned the maker of spyware used to target government officials, reporters and activists, deploying “first-of-its-kind” sanctions against sellers of commercial spyware.

The U.S. government deployed sanctions against Greece-based spyware vendor Intellexa on Tuesday and company’s leadership after targeting U.S. officials.

“Today’s actions represent a tangible step forward in discouraging the misuse of commercial surveillance tools, which increasingly present a security risk to the United States and our citizens,” Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson said.

The Treasury Department targeted two individuals and five entities associated with Intellexa for their role “in developing, operating, and distributing commercial spyware technology” utilized for targeting policy experts, reporters, human rights activists and government officials.

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Trump lawyers seek to block US release of biopic The Apprentice

Biopic of The Apprentice shown at Cannes

Lawyers for Donald Trump have sent a cease-and-desist letter to the producers of The Apprentice in an attempt to block its US sale and release after the film – which depicts the former US president raping his first wife – shocked audiences at its world premiere at the Cannes film festival.

The Trump campaign said earlier this week they would take legal action against Ali Abbasi’s film, with spokesperson Stephen Cheung vowing “to address the blatantly false assertions from these pretend film-makers”.

“This garbage is pure fiction which sensationalises lies that have been long debunked,” Cheung told Variety on Monday. “This ‘film’ is pure malicious defamation, should not see the light of day, and doesn’t even deserve a place in the straight-to-DVD section of a bargain bin at a soon-to-be-closed discount movie store. It belongs in a dumpster fire.”

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