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Liz Cheney embraces her role in the Jan. 6 inquiry in a closing campaign ad.

Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming is highlighting her role as the top Republican on the Jan. 6 committee in a closing ad for her all but doomed re-election campaign, as polls show her badly trailing her Trump-backed opponent, Harriet Hageman, just five days before the primary.

But the nearly two-and-a-half-minute ad released online Thursday appeared aimed as much at a national audience as at the Republican primary voters in Wyoming who will decide the fate of Ms. Cheney, the state’s lone member of the House.

“The lie that the 2020 presidential election was stolen is insidious,” Ms. Cheney said as the ad opens. “It preys on those who love their country. It is a door Donald Trump opened to manipulate Americans to abandon their principles, to sacrifice their freedom, to justify violence, to ignore the rulings of our courts and the rule of law.”

Ms. Cheney, who has been vilified by former President Donald J. Trump and many of his supporters, defended the work of the special House committee that is investigating the 2021 attack on the Capitol and efforts by Mr. Trump to overturn the 2020 election results .

Ms. Cheney, the vice chairwoman of the Jan. 6 committee, has acknowledged her political peril. A poll released on Thursday by the University of Wyoming’s Wyoming Survey and Analysis Center showed Ms. Cheney trailing Ms. Hageman by nearly 30 points.

She is the last of the 10 House Republicans who voted for Mr. Trump’s impeachment to stand before voters in a primary this year. Three have lost: Representatives Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington, Tom Rice of South Carolina and Peter Meijer of Michigan. Two others survived their primaries, and four declined to seek another term.

Titled “The Great Task,” the ad is being promoted on social media, but is not appearing on television, according to Jeremy Adler, a campaign spokesman for Ms. Cheney.

In the ad, Ms. Cheney described Mr. Trump’s false claims of election fraud as his legacy and said that the nation has an obligation to hold those responsible for fomenting violence.

“History has shown us over and over again how these types of poisonous lies destroy free nations,” Ms. Cheney said of those insisting that Mr. Trump won the election. “No one who understands our nation’s laws, no one with an honest, honorable, genuine commitment to our Constitution would say that. It is a cancer that threatens our great republic.”

Ms. Cheney did not mention Ms. Hageman by name in her ad, but drew a comparison between her opponents in Wyoming and election-denying candidates across the nation. Last week, Ms. Hageman repeated Mr. Trump’s false claim that the election was rigged.

Tim Murtaugh, an adviser for Ms. Hageman’s campaign, accused Ms. Cheney of abandoning Wyoming. “This video is basically an audition tape for CNN or MSNBC,” he said.

Ms. Cheney’s resignation of Mr. Trump — and her vote to impeach him last year — have already come at a political price. The Wyoming Republican Party censored her in February 2021, a month after Ms. Cheney’s impeachment vote. House Republicans later ousted Ms. Cheney as the party’s No. 3 leader in the chamber, replacing her with Representative Elise Stefanik, a Trump loyalist from New York.

As the ad closed, Ms. Cheney said that she would always seek to preserve peaceful transitions of power, “not violent confrontations, intimidation, and thuggery,” and added, “where we are led by people who love this country more than themselves. ”


Former police officer gets 7-plus years in prison in Jan. 6 case

Robertson gets credit for the 13 months he has already spent in custody. Robertson has been jailed since Cooper ruled last year that he violated the terms of his pretrial release by possessing firearms.

The judge said he was troubled by Robertson’s conduct since his arrest — not only his stockpiling of guns but also his words advocating for violence. After Jan. 6, Robertson told a friend that he was prepared to fight and die in a civil war and he clung to baseless conspiracy theories that the 2020 election was stolen from then-President Donald Trump, the judge noted.

Sentencing guidelines calculated by Cooper recommended a prison term ranging from seven years and three months to nine years.

“It’s a long time because it reflects the seriousness of the offenses that you were convicted of,” the judge said.

In April, a jury convicted Robertson of attacking the Capitol to obstruct Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential victory. Jurors found Robertson guilty of all six counts in his indictment, including charges that he interfered with police officers at the Capitol and that he entered a restricted area with a dangerous weapon, a large wooden stick.

Robertson’s lawyers said the Army veteran was using the stick to help him walk because he has a limp from getting shot in the right thigh while working as a private contractor for the Defense Department in Afghanistan in 2011.

The judge said he agreed with jurors that Robertson went to the Capitol to interfere with the joint session of Congress on Jan. 6. Robertson was an “active and willing participant,” not “some bystander” who got swept up in the crowd, Cooper said.

Robertson traveled to Washington on that morning with another off-duty Rocky Mount police officer, Jacob Fracker, and a third man, a neighbor who wasn’t charged in the case.

Fracker was scheduled to be tried alongside Robertson before he pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge in March and agreed to cooperate with federal authorities. Cooper is scheduled to sentence Fracker next Tuesday.

Prosecutors have asked Cooper to spare Fracker from a prison term and sentence him to six months of probation along with a period of home detention or “community confinement.” They said Fracker’s “fulsome” cooperation and trial testimony was crucial in securing convictions against Robertson.

Robertson’s lawyer, Mark Rollins, sought a prison sentence below two years and three months. He questioned the fairness of the wide gap in sentences that prosecutors recommended for Robertson and Fracker given their similar conduct.

Robertson served his country and community with distinction, his lawyer told the judge.

“His life is already in shambles,” Rollins said.

Robertson and Fracker were among several current or former law enforcement officers who joined in the riot. Prosecutors say Robertson used his law enforcement and military training to block police officers who were trying to hold off the advancing mob.

Assistant US Attorney Elizabeth Aloi said Robertson was prepared for violence when he went to the Capitol and did a “victory lap” inside the building, where he posed for a selfie with Fracker.

“The defendant is, by all accounts, proud of his conduct on Jan. 6,” she said.

Jurors saw some of Robertson’s posts on social media before and after the riot. In a Facebook post on Nov. 7, 2020, Robertson said “being disenfranchised by fraud is my hard line.”

“I’ve spent most of my adult life fighting a counter insurgency. (I’m) about to become part of one, and a very effective one,” he wrote.

In a letter addressed to the judge, Robertson said he took full responsibility for his actions on Jan. 6 and “any poor decisions I made.” He blamed the vitriolic content of his social media posts on a mix of stress, alcohol abuse and “submersion in deep ‘rabbit holes’ of election conspiracy theory.”

“I sat around at night drinking too much and reacting to articles and sites given to me by Facebook” algorithms, he wrote.

The town fired Robertson and Fracker after the riot. Rocky Mount is about 25 miles south of Roanoke, Va., and has about 5,000 residents.

Roughly 850 people have been charged with federal crimes for their conduct on Jan. 6. More than 350 of them have pleaded guilty, mostly to misdemeanor offenses, and more than 230 have been sentenced so far.

Robertson’s jury trial was the second for a Capitol riot case; Reffitt’s was the first. Jurors have unanimously convicted seven Capitol rioters of all charges in their respective indictments.


Scott Peterson’s attorneys argue for new trial in murders of wife Laci Peterson and unborn son

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Scott Peterson appeared in a California court on Thursday for prosecutors and attorneys to argue their respective cases over whether the convicted killer deserves a new trial in the 2002 murders of his wife and unborn son. After more than five and a half hours, the day’s proceedings closed with the judge asking both sides to submit memorandums, if they like, by mid-September. The jurist has up to 90 days to release her decision from her.

Peterson, now 49, wore a blue coronavirus face mask, handcuffs and dark orange, jail-issued clothing for the Thursday morning hearing in connection to the potential for a retrial in the 20-year-old case that sent shockwaves through the nation: the slayings of his wife, Laci, and their unborn child, Conner.

The hearing stemmed from defense attorneys’ argument that juror Richelle Nice was biased. They argued Nice lied to get on the jury that convicted Peterson in 2004 and put him on death row for the murders of Laci, 27, and the unborn child they planned to name Conner.

I will be deeply surprised if the court overturns the sentence of Scott Peterson

—Ted Williams, renowned attorney and former homicide detective

the California Supreme Court overturned Peterson’s death sentence in 2020 and tasked Superior Court Judge Anne-Christine Massullo with deciding if he received a fair trial.


Massullo argued that Peterson’s attorneys at the time could have asked follow-up questions to clarify some of Nice’s responses. She noted that there were several inconsistencies in the prospective juror questionnaire in the original trial.

During his arguments to the court on Thursday, Peterson attorney Cliff Gardner said Nice contradicted herself in multiple statements, and later changed her answers to certain questions regarding her personal experiences and feelings. I have argued she was inconsistent and uncooperative.


Scott Peterson in a May 11, 2018, photo from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Scott Peterson in a May 11, 2018, photo from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
(California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation via AP, File)

Gardner said Nice refused in 2015 to speak to the defense or the prosecution — and only testified in 2022 because she was granted immunity.

I have pointed to “some important inconsistencies in Ms. Nice’s versions of events, evolution of her versions of events from 2020 to 2020.

“That suggests that she hasn’t been as consistent, like in a witness that we’re going to find credible,” Gardner added.

Richelle Nice adjusts her hair as members of the jury speak with the media in the Old San Mateo County Courthouse in Redwood City, California, on Dec. 13, 2004.

Richelle Nice adjusts her hair as members of the jury speak with the media in the Old San Mateo County Courthouse in Redwood City, California, on Dec. 13, 2004.
(AP Photo/Lou Dematteis, File)

He added: “She refused to testify unless she was given immunity from prosecution. This is as far from a cooperating witness, I think, as you can get.”

Gardner also said Nice responded “no” to a question asking whether she could base her decision entirely on the evidence produced in court and not from outside or pre-existing opinions or attitudes. Peterson’s attorney at the time, who is no longer involved with the case, did not follow up on this answer.

A young child stops to look at a makeshift memorial and a missing person's banner offering a $500,000 reward for the safe return of Laci Peterson at East La Loma Park in Modesto, California, on Jan. 4, 2003.

A young child stops to look at a makeshift memorial and a missing person’s banner offering a $500,000 reward for the safe return of Laci Peterson at East La Loma Park in Modesto, California, on Jan. 4, 2003.
(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)


Nice then took steps to contact Peterson after convicting him, Gardner said.

“She gave Conner a nickname, called him ‘Little Man,'” he told the court.She took the extraordinary step after conviction and after having put Mr. Peterson on death row, [of] beginning correspondence with a series of letters. And the court has seen the letters and the letters. Each of them has various focuses, but one of the focuses of every letter is his “Little man.'”


After a trial that attracted nationwide attention, California fertilizer salesman Scott Peterson, 32, was found guilty on Nov. 12, 2004, in the Christmas Eve 2002 murder of his pregnant wife Laci.

After a trial that attracted nationwide attention, California fertilizer salesman Scott Peterson, 32, was found guilty on Nov. 12, 2004, in the Christmas Eve 2002 murder of his pregnant wife Laci.
(REUTERS/Lou Dematteis LD/MR)

David Harris with the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office told the court that Nice, when asked why she considered herself a “fair person,” responded: “I know what it’s like to be judged.”


The prosecution says Nice was a single mom who had never been on a jury before this trial and thought it would be a part of her civic duty.

The 23-page questionnaire had 163 questions, and “she did the best that she could.”

Scott Peterson reported his pregnant wife, Laci, missing on Christmas Eve 2002 in Modesto, California.  Police didn't eye Peterson as the prime suspect at first, until a string of extramarital affairs were discovered.

Scott Peterson reported his pregnant wife, Laci, missing on Christmas Eve 2002 in Modesto, California. Police didn’t eye Peterson as the prime suspect at first, until a string of extramarital affairs were discovered.

Harris says there is no doubt that Nice made mistakes, but that doesn’t make her a liar.

“She’s inconsistent on her answers,” he told the court. “But being wrong does not necessarily make it false or make her a liar. It just might be that she’s really bad at filling out forms.”

Harris later added: “Nice showed sometimes that she could be a little bit confused about things.”

The prosecutor also argued that Nice was not lying when she responded “no” to the original trial’s juror questionnaire about being involved in any lawsuits. A layperson, he said, might misuse or misunderstand legal terminology.

Juror Richelle Nice, center, hugs attorney Gloria Allred after speaking at a news conference after the formal sentencing of Scott Peterson in Redwood City, California, on March 16, 2005.

Juror Richelle Nice, center, hugs attorney Gloria Allred after speaking at a news conference after the formal sentencing of Scott Peterson in Redwood City, California, on March 16, 2005.
(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

“How many times have we heard jurors sit in the box and say, ‘my house was robbed’?” he said, providing an example for his argument from it. “A house can’t be legally robbed, so they’re wrong. But they’re telling you what they believe is the circumstances in that particular case. It was a burglary. It was not a robbery. So they’re wrong about what the crime is. That does not make them a liar.”

Peterson’s attorneys disputed Harris’ claims by presenting a transcript of Nice acknowledging that what she had filed was a lawsuit.

Harris further pointed to the evidence police had garnered against Peterson during the course of his investigation into Laci’s and Conner’s deaths.

“From the simple fact that Laci and Conner, whose bodies washed ashore 90 miles from their home, but within sight of where Peterson admitted he went fishing on the day that they disappeared; to the research Peterson did on bay currents in the weeks preceding her disappearance; and the fishing boat he bought, but mentioned [to] not one; to Peterson’s inability to explain what he was fishing for in the middle of the day; to his repeated subsequent, serendipitous trips to the marina in the weeks after her disappearance of her; to the many steps he took in the weeks after she went missing – selling her car de ella, exploring leaving the house, turning the nursery into a storage room – that indicated that he already knew Laci and Conner were never coming back, “Harris said.

Nice was an alternate juror who joined the jury deliberations after two original jurors were removed. The panel ultimately found Peterson guilty in 2004 of the first-degree murder in the death of his wife and the second-degree murder of their unborn son. He was sentenced to death in 2005.

Peterson’s attorneys contend, among other things, that Nice sought to be on the jury because she wanted notoriety and for financial reasons. They have also argued that she lied about her lack of bias to get on the jury, and she lied again in a sworn declaration in 2020.

Authorities search the Berkeley Marina, where Laci Peterson's husband Scott said he was fishing at when she went missing.

Authorities search the Berkeley Marina, where Laci Peterson’s husband Scott said he was fishing at when she went missing.

Peterson’s attorneys have argued that Nice’s nickname for Conner, “little man,” was among several indications that she was biased against their client.


And a former fellow juror testified in March that Nice walked into the jury room during deliberations in 2004 and blurted out “that he should basically pay for killing ‘little man.'”

Nice testified earlier that she held no bias against Peterson until after she heard the evidence that he dumped his wife’s body into San Francisco Bay on Christmas Eve 2002.

Nice failed to disclose during jury selection that she sought a restraining order while pregnant in 2000, saying she “really fears for her unborn child” because of threats from her boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend.

She said in her sworn statement 20 years later that she didn’t “feel ‘victimized’ the way the law might define that term.”


Renowned attorney and former homicide detective Ted Williams, who has been following the ongoing proceedings, told Fox News Digital during Thursday’s lunch break that the defense team has “a high bar to get Scott Peterson’s sentence overturned.”

“I believe here that even if you had a juror who did not properly answer on the questionnaire, that in and of itself is not enough to get a sentence overturned,” said Williams, who is also a Fox News contributor. “Unless they can show … that she, by virtue of what she had to say, was able to influence all the jurors other than just [by] participating as a juror, that also will not get this verdict overturned.”

Williams said he was “deeply concerned” and had personal experience as an attorney in trying to have a jury verdict tossed.

“They have got to show that what this juror did prejudiced the case against Scott Peterson so that he was found guilty predicated and based upon anything she specifically did,” he went on. “That’s not going to be easy.”

The evidence against Peterson, Williams said, was “overwhelming.”

Scott Peterson is lucky because everything that I know about this case leads me to believe that Scott Peterson should be on death row rather than serving the rest of his life in a cell,” he added.

Williams said he believed each side was putting on “a very good case.” He called Gardner “vociferous” in making his points about him, and said he was “dealing with the law as best he can.”

He added: “I will be deeply surprised if the court overturns the sentence of Scott Peterson and gives him a new trial.”


Fox News’ Laura Prabucki and The Associated Press contributed to this report.


Takeaways From Garland’s Statement on the FBI’s Mar-a-Lago Search

All week, former President Donald J. Trump’s allies pressed Attorney General Merrick B. Garland to explain the basis for the search warrant federal agents had executed at Mr. Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence — and he refused to break the silence he wears like his unwrinkled, federal blue suit.

On Thursday, Mr. Garland finally responded, summoning the news media to a seventh-floor briefing room at the headquarters of the Justice Department to offer a public rationale. The new information he provided was extremely limited, and largely dependent on whether Mr. Trump’s lawyers choose to block the release of the warrant and other documents sealed by a federal judge.

But the fact that he felt compelled to speak at all says much about the high stakes and the depth of the possible pitfalls in a closely watched investigation.

Here are three takeaways.

Justice Department officials have been exceedingly tight-lipped since Monday, when FBI agents entered Mr. Trump’s inner sanctum to emerge with boxes of sensitive documents the former president had taken with him to Florida. And they were particularly loath to discuss Mr. Garland’s role — whether he had approved the search or even if he knew prosecutors with his national security division had made the extraordinary request to sift through the personal property of an ex-president.

That silence fueled speculation that Mr. Garland was somehow out of the deciders’ loop, or that he wanted people outside the department to think the process was somehow on autopilot to provide himself with political cover.

Not so. Halfway through his terse, tense two-minute statement, he offered an unequivocal and resonant buck-stops-here assertion.

“I personally approved the decision to seek a search warrant in this matter,” Mr. Garland said.

Moments before Mr. Garland spoke, a top official in the Justice Department’s national security division, counterintelligence chief Jay I. Bratt, filed a motion to unseal the search warrant, along with an inventory of items retrieved in the search.

The last sentence of the document contained a critical caveat. It gave Mr. Trump’s legal team the opportunity to present a “countervailing” argument against releasing the warrant, putting the ultimate decision in the hands of the former president and the federal judge, Bruce Reinhart, presiding in the case.

Why is that important?

Because optics matter. to lot Mr. Garland, above all else, wants to avoid accusations that he is litigating cases in the public arena, which he believes will fatally compromise any potential prosecutions, and further damage the already shaky reputation of federal law enforcement following the out-front behavior in 2016 of James B. Comey, the former FBI director, regarding the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails.

Proposing that the documents be made public — while giving Mr. Trump’s team the chance to thumbs-down their release — puts the onus of disclosure on the former president, and it affords Mr. Garland an opportunity to counter his critics, who have demanded he explain the rationale behind his actions.

Mr. Trump’s team has not yet said what they will do. Judge Reinhart has given them until 3 pm Friday to make their case either way.

A federal search warrant, especially one issued in such a high-profile, high-stakes case, is likely to contain at least some new information and insights. But in most instances, they do not contain a trove of new detail, current and former prosecutors say.

Much of the important information included in the Mar-a-Lago warrant is already public, including the name of the judge who issued it and the warrant’s origins in a monthslong probe, initiated at the request of the National Archives into Mr. Trump’s handling of sensitive White House documents after he left office in January 2021.

The most interesting, and perhaps damning information, is likely to be hidden inside supporting affidavits presented by the Justice Department to the judge. They might, for instance, contain details about witnesses who alerted the government about materials Mr. Trump did not turn over as part of previous negotiations with the department.

But those affidavits do not have to be turned over to Mr. Trump’s legal team under law, and the department is unlikely to ever release them to the public, officials said.

That leaves two other sets of documents: the inventories of materials sought by agents going into Mar-a-Lago, and the manifest of what they carted out.

If there are any major new revelations, they could be here. The Justice Department’s request to unseal those records explicitly states that they be “redacted” to exclude the names of the law enforcement personnel who executed the warrant. What is less clear is how specific the descriptions on the lists of the documents are—which could make a significant difference.


Republicans May Regret Pushing the DOJ to Release the Search Warrant

  • Many of Trump’s GOP allies have clamored for the DOJ to release its Mar-a-Lago search warrant and supporting documentation.
  • On Thursday, the DOJ moved to do just that, asking a court to unseal portions of the warrant.
  • Legal experts and political strategists say Trump’s backers bit off more than they could chew and the DOJ called their bluff.

Former President Donald Trump’s allies have spent this week clamoring for the Justice Department to release details from its search warrant for Mar-a-Lago and other supporting documentation.

Now, it looks like they might get what they asked for.

Attorney General Merrick Garland announced Thursday at a news conference that the Justice Department has filed a motion to unseal portions of the warrant following Trump’s “public confirmation of the search.”

But legal experts and political strategists warn that Trump’s allies may have bitten off more than they could chew and that the maneuver could ultimately backfire on the former president and his party as this year’s midterm elections loom.

“Republican strategists have no clue how bad this is gonna be yet,” said Luis Alvarado, a longtime GOP consultant.

Right-wing reactions in the wake of the Mar-a-Lago raid have failed into one of two camps.

Many of Trump’s more hardline supporters — like House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyFlorida Rep. Matt Gaetz, and Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene — threatened to investigate the Justice Department and issued calls to “defund” the FBI.

Other Republicans, including former Vice President Mike Pence, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, have asked the Justice Department to publicly talk about his investigation into Trump.

Cruz issued a tweet demanding that the department “RELEASE THE WARRANT NOW.”

“The American people deserve to see it,” Cruz wrote. “NOW.”

But Alvarado expressed skepticism toward those demands.

“They were saying it and crossing their fingers and hoping they don’t turn around and release that information immediately,” Insider told. “Because right now, we still have primaries that are happening around the country. And they don’t want that to fill the space.”

Fox Business’ Charles Gasparino tweeted on Wednesday that Trump’s own legal team would “likely seek a court order to force the @FBI and @TheJusticeDept to turn over a physical copy of the search warrant, the affidavit, and a complete inventory of what was taken in the Mar-a-Lago raid .”

The department’s motion on Thursday rendered that option moot.

“This is a big fucking deal,” one former DOJ official, who requested anonymity to candidly discuss the subject, said of the request to unseal. “Never happens. It’s unheard of.”

But the attorney general likely made an exception in this case “because of everything that’s been going on the last few days, including Trump himself and his backers crying foul, accusing the FBI of planting evidence, what have you,” the former official said.

“There is a heightened level of interest in this,” they added. “There’s a relevance here because it really does go to the heart of the system. It’s not just people throwing stones at DOJ and FBI, they’ve gotten that for decades. This is a systemic questioning of DOJ and FBI by the former president, a fair number of elected officials, and the population.”

Garland calls Republicans’ bluff

Garland at DOJ

Attorney General Merrick Garland.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Shortly after the department’s motion was filed Thursday, magistrate judge Bruce Reinhart ordered the DOJ to confer with Trump’s lawyers and let the court know by Friday afternoon if Trump’s team agrees with or objects to the government’s request to unseal.

In other words, the department’s motion will force Trump to put up or shut up.

“Brilliant move by Garland: make motion to unseal everything including material Trump has already (warrant and return); so now the ball is in his court to object or consent,” Andrew Weissmann, a former FBI general counsel who later worked on the Mueller investigation, tweeted after Garland’s news conference. “Called Trump’s bluff.”

David Weinstein, a Miami criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor, told Insider that even if the department’s motion to unseal is denied, Republicans could still regret pressing the DOJ because it will inadvertently put more pressure on Trump and his lawyers to produce their copy of the search warrant.

Multiple people on Trump’s team, including his son Eric, awning Gasparino that they did not get copies of the warrant or supporting documentation. But Garland debunked that claim Thursday, saying copies of both the warrant and the FBI receipt were given to Trump’s counsel.

“Trump and his lawyers have a copy of the search warrant that lists exactly what laws the FBI believes and the Department of Justice believes have been violated,” Weinstein said. “So if they wanted to show that to the world, they’re afraid to do so. And quite frankly, if it was just the presidential records, I think they’d be waving it around like an American flag.”

Gene Rossi, a longtime former federal prosecutor, also told Insider this week that he would be “shocked” if the affidavit supporting the warrant didn’t include probable cause suggesting Trump violated other laws including statutes against obstruction, insurrection, sedition, and more.

“You only get one shot at doing a search of Donald Trump’s home,” he said. “The Department of Justice is not going to blow their wad, in my view, on just looking at… the records statute.”

Ultimately, said the former DOJ official, Trump “talked himself into” the department moving to unseal its Mar-a-Lago search warrant.

“The old axiom by lawyers is that you want a client to shut the hell up,” the former official added. “That doesn’t apply to this president. So while he and his supporters are screaming about what the FBI took, the DOJ’s saying, ‘You know exactly what they took. You’ve got a piece of paper that says what they took. But you want the world to know? Fine.'”


Thomas Robertson: Former Virginia police officer sentenced to more than 7 years in January 6 case

Thomas Robertson entered the Capitol with the first breach of rioters that day, prosecutors said, and marks the second rioter convicted by a jury to be sentenced. Guy Reffitt, the first riot defendant convicted by a jury, received the same sentence of 87 months behind bars — the highest sentence in a January 6 case to date.

Washington, DC District Court Judge Christopher Cooper said Robertson’s actions after the riot were the most “striking and concerning” part of the case before handing down his sentence.

“You think partisan politics is war. You continue to believe conspiracy theories,” Cooper said to Robertson, adding: “I sincerely believe you would respond to a call of duty if called to do something like this again.”

Robertson, a former sergeant of the Rocky Mount police in Virginia, wrote in a March 2021 text to a friend, “I can kill every agent that they send,” assuring they would never see him “surrender to be a political prisoner.”

Robertson is one of more than a dozen January 6 defendants so far to opt to take their case to trial instead of entering a plea agreement.

Robertson’s substantial sentence — along with the sentence given to Reffitt — could encourage January 6 defendants with sights on a trial to instead accept Justice Department plea deals. Only one accused rioter who went to trial was acquitted on all charges.

Cooper noted that Robertson, who was dressed in an orange prison jumpsuit, chose to go to trial and did not accept responsibility for his actions.

“That’s your choice,” Cooper said. “But this is the consequence of that choice.”

Robertson was convicted by a DC jury in April on all six charges he faced, including the felony charges of impeding law enforcement officers, obstructing an official proceeding and tampering with evidence.

During his trial, prosecutors detailed what they considered Robertson’s preparation for the attack. They presented a post he allegedly wrote a month before January 6, 2021, calling for an “open and armed rebellion” and told the jury he brought three gas masks and food rations to DC.

Robertson’s co-defendant and former subordinate at work, Jacob Fracker, pleaded guilty to conspiracy in March and testified for hours against Robertson, a man he said he used to affectionately call “dad.” The jury also heard testimony from DC Metropolitan Police Officer Noah Duckett, who said a man prosecutors identified as Robertson struck him and another officer with a stick.

Robertson destroyed his and his Fracker’s phones before he was arrested and bought 37 guns in violation of his release conditions while awaiting trial, which Cooper considered — along with Robertson continuing “to advocate for violence” — when deciding his sentence.



NYC carriage horse on the mend after scary collapse: stable worker

The sick carriage horse that collapsed on a busy Manhattan street won’t be sold off or euthanized as a result, a stable employee insisted to The Post on Thursday.

The horse, named Ryder, spent the night at the West Side Livery stables on West 38th Street after he was filmed lying in the middle of the street in Hell’s Kitchen as his driver repeatedly struck him and ordered him to “get up.”

Christina Hansen, a carriage driver who works at the stable, told The Post it was “highly unlikely” the 14-year-old horse would be put down or sold off following Wednesday’s caught-on-camera order.

“He’s not going to be sold,” the top hat-wearing Hansen said, adding that she’d spoken to the horse’s owner earlier Thursday.

Ryder was examined by a veterinarian after being brought back to the stable by the NYPD’s mounted unit following his collapse — and the diagnosis was Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis, a neurological disease caused by possum droppings, Hansen said.

Hansen said it was unlikely the horse would be put back to work immediately because he’ll need treatment for EPM.

Ryder has stayed at West Side Livery stables in Manhattan.
Robert Miller
Ryder collapsed on ground
Ryder collapsed in Midtown Manhattan on Aug. 10, 2022.

“It would be irresponsible,” Hansen, who is also a union shop steward, said of having him lug a carriage right away.

“We have all the time in the world. We’ll do what’s right by the horse. He’s going to be treated and we’ll figure out one of the best places for him to retire to,” she added.

The stable worker said Ryder, who has only been in the Big Apple since April after being used as an Amish buggy horse, was already doing “really well.”

“He’s been great. He’s been plowing through there. He’s been eating his carrots,” Hansen said.

Her insistence that Ryder won’t be cast aside came after the president of NYCLASS — an anti-horse carriage group — claimed the horse was at risk of being sold for slaughter following his collapse.

“If the owner simply sells Ryder, he is at serious risk of ending up being sold for slaughter or in some other terrible situation,” Edita Birnkrant said in a statement.

Birnkrant said the organization had already offered to “place Ryder in a sanctuary where he would receive lifelong love and care and proper veterinary care.”

Christina Hanson
Carriage driver Christina Hansen told The Post that it was “highly unlikely” that Ryder would be put down or sold off.
Robert Miller
West Side Livery stable
The carriage involved in the incident parked outside of West Side Livery stable on Thursday.
Robert Miller

Meanwhile, animal activists — including NYCLASS — descended on City Hall on Thursday to call on the City Council to fast track legislation that’ll phase out horse carriages in the Big Apple. That bill was introduced by Councilman Bob Holden last month.

If passed, the new measure would give horse drivers preferences for electric carriage licensure and require they be paid union wages.

“The collapse of Ryder in peak rush hour traffic in Midtown Manhattan is tragic, unforgivable … and entirely preventable,” said Dr. Jim Keen, director of Veterinary Sciences for Animal Wellness Action and the Center for a Humane Economy.

Cut on skin seen on horse.
Injuries are seen on Ryder, possibly from the collapse in midtown.
Robert Miller
Another cut was found on the rear right side of Ryder.
Another cut was found on the rear right side of Ryder.
Robert Miller

“Whether he collapsed from overwork and heat exhaustion, or, even worse, overwork, heat exhaustion and untreated EPM, there is no excuse to treat a horse like an expendable machine. There is a simple solution: prohibit carriage horses from dense urban areas, and replace them with electric carriages as Councilman Bob Holden proposed.”

Ashley Byrne, PETA’s director of outreach and communication, said the legislation, if passed, would “be a win for everyone.”

“It would be a win for the workers. Their jobs would be preserved and would be much better and have benefits. It would also protect the public from accidents and run away horse incidents, that we have seen far too many of. And obviously a win for the horses,” she said.

Cut on Ryder's leg
A cut was also found on Ryder’s leg.
Robert Miller
Ryder and Christina Hansen.
According to paperwork, Ryder is 14 years old.
Robert Miller

Mayor Eric Adams didn’t answer questions about the horse collapse Thursday.

One protester, Lisa Forsee, 60, took direct aim at Hizzoner over his silence.

“I am ashamed of him. He is running this city. He is allowing animal abuse. It’s documented. He needs to do something about it,” she said.

Additional reporting by Desheania Andrews



Mall of America shooting suspects nabbed after getting haircuts in Chicago

A man who allegedly fired a gun inside Minnesota’s Mall of America last week was arrested along with his accused accomplice 400 miles away in Chicago Thursday afternoon, a report said.

Shamar Alon Lark, 21, and Rashad Jamal May, 23, were busted by an FBI-led task force after getting haircuts in the Windy City, officials said at a press conference published by KARE 11.

“A week ago, we said you can’t shoot up the mall and expect to get away with it. You can’t commit these acts and enjoy the freedoms of a free society,” Bloomington Police Chief Booker Hodges said while announcing the arrests.

On Aug. 4, the suspects were among a group of people who had gotten into an argument with another group at the Nike store, prosecutors said.

After the altercation, the pair returned and Lark allegedly fired three shots inside the store, according to officials. Not one was hit by the gunfire, but the startling event at the nation’s largest shopping mall sparked a nationwide manhunt.

Shamar Alon Lark, 21, was charged with a second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon along with other felonies.
Shamar Alon Lark, 21, was charged with a second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon along with other felonies.

Lark was charged with a second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon, intentional discharge of a firearm and carrying a pistol without a permit in a public place. May was charged with aiding an offender to avoid arrest.

Three other people were also arrested for allegedly helping Lark and May escape from the mall.

The suspects were being held behind bars in Chicago ahead of an extradition hearing.

Three Minnesota residents in their early twenties were also charged in connection with the incident.
Three other Minnesota residents were charged in connection with allegedly helping the fugitives escape.
People are seen leaving the mall after shots were fired.
Shoppers evacuated the mall after shots rang out on the afternoon of Aug. 4.



Florida man mocks Trump, flying ‘Ha Ha Ha’ banner over Mar-a-Lago home


Man who tried to breach FBI office killed after standoff

WILMINGTON, Ohio (AP) — An armed man clad in body armor who tried to breach the FBI’s Cincinnati office on Thursday was shot and killed by police after he fled the scene and engaged in an hourslong standoff in a rural part of the state, the Ohio State Highway Patrol said.

The confrontation came as officials warned of an increase in threats against federal agents in the days following a search of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.

The man is believed to have been in Washington on the days leading up to the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection and may have been present at the Capitol on the day of the attack, according to a law enforcement official briefed on the matter. The official could not discuss details of the investigation publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

The suspect was identified as Ricky Shiffer, 42, according to the law enforcement official. He was not charged with any crimes in connection with the Jan. 6 attack, the official said. Federal investigators are examining whether Shiffer may have had ties to far-right extremist groups, including the Proud Boys, the official said.

Shiffer “attempted to breach” the visitor screening area at the FBI office at around 9:15 am, and fled when agents confronted him, according to federal authorities’ account of the incident. After fleeing onto Interstate 71, he was spotted by a trooper and fired shots as the trooper pursued him, said Lt. Nathan Dennis, an Ohio State Highway Patrol spokesperson, at a press conference.

Shiffer left the interstate north of Cincinnati and abandoned his car on rural roads, where he exchanged gunfire with police and sustained injuries, although no one else was hurt, Dennis said.

Shiffer was shot after he raised a gun toward police at around 3 pm Thursday, Dennis said. The fatal encounter with police happened after negotiations failed and police tried unsuccessfully to use “less lethal tactics,” Dennis said, without providing details.

State highway workers blocked off roads leading to the scene as a helicopter flew over the area. Officials locked down a mile radius near the interstate and urged residents and business owners to lock doors and stay inside. The interstate has been reopened.

There have been growing threats in recent days against FBI agents and offices across the country since federal agents executed a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago. On Gab, a popular social media site with white supremacists and antisemites, users have warned they are preparing for an armed revolution.

Federal officials have also been tracking an array of other concerning chatter on Gab and other platforms threatening violence against federal agents. FBI Director Christopher Wray denounced the threats as he visited another FBI office in Nebraska on Wednesday.

“Violence against law enforcement is not the answer, no matter who you’re upset with,” Wray said Wednesday in Omaha.

The FBI on Wednesday also warned its agents to avoid protesters and ensure their security key cards are “not visible outside FBI space,” citing an increase in social media threats to bureau personnel and facilities. It also warned agents to be aware of their surroundings and potential protesters.

The warning did not specifically mention this week’s search for Mar-a-Lago but attributed the online threats to “recent media reporting on FBI investigative activity.”


Welsh-Huggins reported from Columbus, Ohio. Associated Press writer Michael Balsamo in Washington contributed to this report.