They've got muck; we've got rakes. TPM Muckraker

After a recently-published book alleging that Rep. Charles Boustany (R-LA) slept with prostitutes rocked the Bayou State’s crowded U.S. Senate race, one of Boustany's 23 opponents, State Treasurer Jack Kennedy, urged him to sue the publisher if the allegations were false.

On Monday, Boustany did exactly that, filing a defamation lawsuit against “Murder in the Bayou” author Ethan Brown and his publisher, Simon & Schuster/Scribner, in Louisiana state court in Lafayette.

Read More →

One question has always loomed large over the legal drama surrounding Bridgegate: Did Chris Christie know about the political motivation for lane closures that ground traffic on the New Jersey side of the George Washington Bridge to a standstill as they happened in the fall of 2013?

Three years later, the trial for two of his former allies accused of orchestrating the lane closures is in full swing—and the evidence that the New Jersey governor did know is mounting.

In his own telling, Christie believed his allies' explanation that the lane closures were the result of a traffic study until the document dump that made "Time for some traffic problems" a go-to joke for political junkies blew the scandal wide open in January 2014. But both the prosecution and the defense in the case agree that Christie knew about the plot as it was happening, and new testimony from Christie’s self-described former “enforcer” at the Port Authority, in addition to other statements from former aides, contradict what the governor has said about what he knew and when.

Read More →

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach and the civil rights groups and voters suing him over the state's proof-of-citizenship voter registration requirement appear to have come to an agreement in a dispute over how the state had been implementing a court ruling blocking that restriction, court documents filed Thursday by the ACLU show.

The agreement was reached ahead of a hearing scheduled for Friday, where Kobach had been ordered to explain why he should not be held in contempt of court.

Read More →

The New York attorney general's investigation of the Donald J. Trump Foundation appears to have broadened to include new allegations of self-dealing by Trump that surfaced after the probe began, TPM has learned.

The town of Palm Beach, Florida, has provided documents to the New York Attorney General's Office as part of the probe, a lawyer for the town confirmed to TPM on Wednesday. The documents relate to a legal dispute that Trump settled with the town using foundation money. The details of the 2007 Palm Beach case were first reported by the Washington Post last week.

"The New York Attorney General’s Office did contact me in regard to this matter," John Randolph, the Palm Beach town attorney, told TPM Wednesday evening. "I just sent them the documents that I had previously sent to the Washington Post."

Read More →

UPDATE 3:53 P.M.: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) on Tuesday afternoon denied Wildstein's allegations: "I have not and will not say anything differently than I've been saying since January 2014, no matter what is said up there (in Newark federal court). I had no knowledge, prior to or during these lane realignments, I had no role in authorizing it, I had no knowledge of it, and there's been no evidence ever put forward that I did."

The key witness in the Bridgegate trial on Tuesday recalled how he and other officials bragged to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie about the ramifications of their plot to cause a massive, multi-day traffic jam on the George Washington Bridge as the gridlock was still underway in 2013.

Read More →

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach will have to explain to a federal judge Friday in Kansas why he should not be held in contempt of court for his handling of a ruling blocking the state's proof-of-citizenship voting requirement, according to an order issued by U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson Monday.

The order came after the ACLU and the other civil rights groups that sued him over the requirement requested the court force Kobach to follow an earlier order that he restore the voting rights of those who didn't show a proof of citizenship when registering to vote at the DMV.

Read More →

Donald Trump has in the last week attempted to erase his history with birtherism by claiming he put the issue to bed when, by his account, he single-handedly forced President Barack Obama in 2011 to release his long-form birth certificate, and by falsely insisting that the conspiracy theory sprang from Hillary Clinton’s 2008 campaign.

At least one former Clinton supporter, whose name is synonymous with the birther movement, told TPM in a Wednesday phone interview he doesn’t mind that his promotion of the myth that the country's first black President wasn't born on U.S. soil contributed to Trump incorrectly pinning its origins on Clinton's campaign.

Read More →

LiveWire