Trump’s Legal Battles, Supreme Court Showdown, and Food Safety Alerts

Good morning, and welcome to The Epoch Times News Brief for Wednesday, April 24, 2024. I’m Bill Thomas, and today, we'll discuss the intense legal battles invol
Trump’s Legal Battles, Supreme Court Showdown, and Food Safety Alerts
(Left) Special counsel Jack Smith in Washington on Aug. 1, 2023. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images); (Right) Former President Donald Trump. (David Dee Delgado/Getty Images)
Bill Thomas
Good morning, and welcome to The Epoch Times News Brief for Wednesday, April 24, 2024. I’m Bill Thomas, and today, we'll discuss the intense legal battles involving former President Donald Trump, the Supreme Court’s decisions in a Jan. 6 case, and alarming food safety recalls. There’s so much to get to, so let’s jump right into our first huge story! It’s a really important update on what’s happening right now with the former president.

Judge Cannon Unseals FBI Document

U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon recently released new documents related to President Trump’s classified documents case, which reveal the code name “Plasmic Echo” used by the FBI for the investigation and how the agency spoke about performing “loose surveillance” on the former president’s aircraft before an unprecedented raid at his residence in Florida in 2022.

The documents were made public on Monday as part of a motion submitted by President Trump’s lawyers to gather more evidence in the case. Special counsel Jack Smith has brought the legal trial against the former president, accusing him of illegally keeping classified documents.

Judge Cannon also unsealed an FBI document that detailed how the agents combed through President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence to retrieve the files. It also describes the individuals involved, including four agents from the FBI Washington field office, 25 agents from the FBI Miami office, one FBI official from the agency’s headquarters in Washington, one Department of Justice counterintelligence and export control lawyer, and one official from the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Southern District of Florida.

One of the key revelations from the unsealed documents is about an alleged witness, referred to only as “Person 16,” who previously worked at the White House. This person reportedly advised President Trump to return certain items to the National Archives to sidestep potential legal troubles after he left office. Despite these complications, President Trump and his co-defendant, Walt Nauta, maintain their innocence, pleading not guilty.

In a recent development, lawyers representing President Trump’s co-defendants have asked for the case to be dismissed, arguing that there’s no proof their clients knew about the classified documents. Meanwhile, President Trump has also filed multiple motions seeking to dismiss the charges against him, but Judge Cannon denied two, just last month.

Next, we dive into a contentious debate sparked by Alan Dershowitz’s accusations against New York prosecutors.

Dershowitz Says New York Prosecutors Are Violating Voters’ Rights With Trump Trial

Mr. Dershowitz, a retired Harvard law professor, has come forward with some strong accusations against New York District Attorney Alvin Bragg. Mr. Dershowitz told Newsmax on April 22 that by prosecuting President Trump, Mr. Bragg’s office is stepping on voters’ rights. He also argued that the case amounts to a criminal conspiracy to influence elections.

April 22 was the first day of President Trump’s criminal trial in Manhattan. The former president has been charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records to hide “hush money” payments, which prosecutors refer to as “criminal conspiracy” to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.

The case kicked off with Assistant District Attorney Matthew Colangelo, who said: “It was election fraud, pure and simple,” adding that “the case is about a criminal conspiracy and a cover-up.”

Mr. Dershowitz challenged the New York prosecutors’ claims, and he said in the interview: “It’s the state that’s violating the right of all of us as voters to vote for a candidate based on the pros and cons of his candidacy, not on some made-up, fake criminal charges.”

He criticized the Manhattan DA for turning these accusations into felony charges. He argued that it’s not just an overreach but an invalid legal premise and that Mr. Bragg invoked federal statutes over which New York has no jurisdiction.

President Trump himself has dismissed the case as an act of “very unfair” election interference, saying he could be out campaigning but instead must waste time sitting in court. His attorney, Todd Blanche, expressed a similar idea, saying that President Trump is innocent and criticizing the very foundation of the case.

The New York prosecution has taken on added importance because it may be the only one of the four cases against President Trump to go to trial before the Nov. 5 presidential election.

Harvey Kushner, another legal expert and chair of the criminal justice department at Long Island University in Brookville, New York, said this to The Epoch Times: He said he sees the case as an effort on the part of a “weaponized” district attorney, with serious political ambitions of his own, to undermine President Trump’s campaign.

Continuing our focus on Alan Dershowitz, this time he has strong reservations about a new proposal from Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.).

Democrats Want Donald Trump ‘Killed,’ Alan Dershowitz Warns

Mr. Thompson introduced a bill last week that would remove Secret Service protection for people who are convicted of felony or state crimes. He mentioned that a “former president” could be an individual whose protection would be terminated if he’s found guilty in four cases.

Mr. Dershowitz, a former constitutional law professor and criminal defense lawyer, sees this as a direct threat, particularly to Donald Trump. He told Newsmax in an interview over the weekend that Mr. Thompson’s legislation is “ridiculous” and “means they want him killed because he’s obviously a target.” He emphasizes that, in today’s high-risk environment, not just President Trump, but also figures like independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. should have security.

Echoing Mr. Dershowitz’s concerns, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) is openly accusing Democrats of trying to get the former president killed in prison, suggesting that this bill is part of their dangerous scheme.

That’s really an amazing story and one that we’ll keep watching very closely. Up next, we turn our attention to the Supreme Court as it takes new steps in a case stemming from the Jan. 6 Capitol breach.

Supreme Court Takes New Step in Jan. 6 Case

The U.S. Supreme Court is now looking into a case from the Jan. 6 Capitol breach involving Russell Alford. He was convicted of four minor charges but he’s challenging two of them.

Mr. Alford says he didn’t do anything wrong; he just went into the Capitol, stood silently against a wall, and then left. However, a federal appeals court ruled in January to uphold the rejection of his challenge, stating that just being there as part of the chaotic crowd interfered with an important congressional session and was unsafe.

Mr. Alford’s lawyers are pushing for the Supreme Court to reevaluate the case. They argue that the appeals court establishes “a slippery and counter-textual standard for criminalizing conduct in settings for political activity.” If the Supreme Court decides to review this, it could affect similar cases involving other people from Jan. 6.

Additionally, the Supreme Court is also considering how broadly a charge called “obstruction of an official proceeding” should be used. This discussion could influence how the law applies to different types of protests or disturbances at federal buildings.

The Department of Justice has until May 23 to provide its input on Mr. Alford’s case, as directed by the Supreme Court, although it has indicated it might not respond unless the court specifically asks it to.

Finally, we’ll have a look at some crucial food safety issues. We’ve got several alerts and recalls you really need to hear about.

First, a contamination warning was issued for ground beef.

Federal Agency Issues ‘Public Health Alert’ Over Ground Beef That May Be Contaminated

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has issued a public health alert for certain ground beef products suspected of E. coli contamination. These products, produced on March 28, 2024, are identifiable by the establishment number EST. 960A on their packaging, along with specific use or freeze-by dates.

While no official recall has been made, consumers are strongly advised to avoid consuming or serving these items. The potential contamination was identified by Greater Omaha Packing Co., although no related illnesses have been reported to date. Symptoms of E. coli can include stomach cramps, vomiting, and fever.

It’s recommended that consumers handle raw meat carefully and always cook ground beef to an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure safety.

Next up, a recall alert for avocado cooking oil.

Primal Kitchen Cooking Oil Recalled Over Safety Concerns: FDA

Primal Kitchen is recalling over 2,000 cases of its avocado cooking oil due to a problem with its 25.26-fluid-ounce glass bottles that might break and create safety issues.

The FDA found this issue during a check at Primal Kitchen’s storage facility. Fortunately, no one has been hurt or gotten sick from this.

The oil was sold in the eastern United States, California, and online nationally. If you’ve bought this oil, you should stop using it and reach out to Primal Kitchen to get your money back.

The company also says that this recall doesn’t affect any other sizes or types of their products.

Now, we’re almost out of time, so that’s going to be our final story on the midweek edition of The Epoch Times News Brief!

Before we turn out the lights, shut the transmitter down, and make the run downstairs to the News Brief dining hall, this brief reminder: If you enjoy our News Brief program, please let us know by dropping us an email. We’re at [email protected], and we’re always scoping out your comments, thoughts, and suggestions. With that, let’s go to the mailbag!

This one is from Dax: ATTN Bill Thomas at The Epoch Times / News Brief: “I’m a big fan of The Epoch Times. Great work, sir.”

Dax also suggested doing some stories related to projects that Bill Gates is working on. Duly noted and under consideration. Thank you, Dax.

Duane checks in with “greetings” from Middle Tennessee! He says: “I so appreciate your style in reporting stories. Our family appreciates all you do and that’s why we subscribe to Epoch Times. Stay Strong, truth will prevail.” Thanks, Duane.

Now, because we’re always trying to grow the News Brief, we’d greatly appreciate it if you could tell your friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers about our program and help us spread the message as we continue to grow the show.

As we do each and every day, we end today’s program with a very “notable” quote:

“You will face many defeats in life, but never let yourself be defeated” —Maya Angelou

She was a poet, singer, autobiographer, civil rights activist, and so much more.

For all of us here at The Epoch Times News Brief, I’m Bill Thomas, have a fulfilling day.

Bill Thomas is a two-time Golden Mike Award winner who has specialized in breaking news coverage. In his career he has covered floods, forest fires, police pursuits, civil unrest, and freeway collapses. He is a host of EpochCasts News Brief, an audio news show from The Epoch Times. You can reach Bill via email at [email protected]
Related Topics