Former Special Counsel John Durham testified before Congress on Wednesday and it did not go well, as both Democrats and Republicans seemed entirely unimpressed with his process or results. California Democrat Adam Schiff had him on the defensive earlier in the afternoon and then when Florida Republican Matt Gaetz questioned Durham he compared him to the Washington Generals. Durham did not immediately get the reference.

Gaetz: “Have you ever heard of the Washington Generals?
Durham: “The Washington Generals? Yes, I have.”
Gaetz: “They’re the team that basically gets paid to show up and lose, right.”
Durham: “Well, I’m sure the players who exert blood, sweat and tears don’t view it that way, but you might.”
Gaetz: “I think they do because the job of the Waashington Generals is to show up every night and play the Harlem Globetrotters.”

At this point Durham realized that Gaetz was talking about the Washington Generals and not the Washington Commanders. Which is a shame. Someone unwittingly being tricked into defending the Commanders in front of the House Judiciary Committee would have been fun to watch. Yeah, they finished last in NFC East last year, but they were 8-8-1 and nearly made the playoffs!

More people would watch these committees if witnesses were blindsided into confusedly defending professional sports teams they were not there to discuss in the first place. Does no one in Congress care about ratings?


Fierce fighting across Sudan has left hopes for a peaceful transition to civilian rule in tatters.

Forces loyal to two rival generals are vying for control, and as is so often the case civilians have suffered the most, with dozens killed and hundreds injured.

Here’s what you need to know.

At the heart of the clashes are two men: Sudan’s military leader Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and the commander of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo.

Until recently, they were allies. The pair worked together to topple ousted Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir in 2019 and played a pivotal role in the military coup in 2021.

However, tensions arose during negotiations to integrate the RSF into the country’s military as part of plans to restore civilian rule.

The key question: who would be subordinate to who under the new hierarchy.

These hostilities, sources told CNN, are the culmination of what both parties view as an existential fight for dominance.

It is difficult to understate how seismic Bashir’s overthrow was. He had led the country for nearly three decades when popular protests that began over soaring bread prices toppled him from power.

During his rule, South Sudan split from the north while the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Bashir alleged war crimes in Darfur, a separatist Western region.

After Bashir’s ouster, Sudan was ruled by an uneasy alliance between the military and civilian groups.

That all ended in 2021, when the power-sharing government was dissolved by armed forces.

The Rapid Support Forces are the preeminent paramilitary group in Sudan, whose leader, Dagalo, has enjoyed a rapid rise to power.

During Sudan’s Darfur conflict in the early 2000s, he was the leader of Sudan’s notorious Janjaweed forces, implicated in human rights violations and atrocities.

An international outcry saw Bashir formalize the group into paramilitary forces known as the Border Intelligence Units.

In 2007, its troops became part of the country’s intelligence services and, in 2013, Bashir created the RSF, a paramilitary group overseen by him and led by Dagalo.

Dagalo turned against Bashir in 2019, but not before his forces opened fire on an anti-Bashir, pro-democracy sit-in in Khartoum, killing at least 118 people.

He was later appointed deputy of the transitional Sovereign Council that ruled Sudan in partnership with civilian leadership.

Burhan is essentially Sudan’s leader. At the time of Bashir’s toppling, Burhan was the army’s inspector general.

His career has run an almost parallel course to Dagalo’s.

He also rose to prominence in the 2000’s for his role in the dark days of the Darfur conflict, where the two men are believed to have first came into contact.

Al-Burhan and Hemedti both cemented their rise to power by currying favor with the Gulf powerhouses.

They commanded separate battalions of Sudanese forces, who were sent to serve with the Saudi-led coalition forces in Yemen.

Now they find themselves locked in a power struggle.

Where the fighting will end is unclear. Both sides claim control over key sites and fighting has been reported across the country in places far from the capital Khartoum.

While various official and non-official estimates place the Sudanese armed forces at around 210-220,000, the RSF are believed to number approximately 70,000 but are better trained and better equipped.

International powers have expressed alarm. Apart from concerns over civilians there are likely other motivations at play – Sudan is resource-rich and strategically located.

CNN has previously reported on how Russia has colluded with Sudan’s military leaders to smuggle gold out of Sudan.

Dagalo’s forces were a key recipient of Russian training and weaponry, and Sudan’s military leader Burhan is also believed by CNN’s Sudanese sources to have been backed by Russia, before international pressure forced him to publicly disavow the presence of the Russian mercenary group Wagner, in Sudan.

Sudan’s neighbors Egypt and South Sudan have offered to mediate, but in the meantime all that is certain is more misery for the Sudanese people.

 Judge holds Trump in contempt and fines him $10,000 a day in New York Attorney General

A New York judge held former President Donald Trump in civil contempt of court and ordered him to pay $10,000 a day until he turns over documents that have been subpoenaed by the state attorney general’s office.


Attorney General Letitia James had sought the fine as a way to force the former president to turn over documents her investigators say they need as part of their civil probe into the Trump Organization’s business practices.


 Judge holds Trump in contempt and fines him $10,000 a day in New York Attorney General


‘Mr. Trump, I know you take your business seriously, and I take mine seriously, I hereby hold you in civil contempt and fine you $10,000 a day’, said New York state Supreme Court judge Arthur Engoron.


James said ‘justice prevailed’ on Monday in a celebratory statement after the ruling.


‘For years, Donald Trump has tried to evade the law and stop our lawful investigation into him and his company’s financial dealings. Today’s ruling makes clear: No one is above the law,’ the state attorney general said.


James is investigating whether the Trump Organization, the former president’s real estate empire, misstated the values of its real estate properties to obtain favorable loans and tax deductions.


She said her probe had found ‘significant evidence’ suggesting that for more than a decade the company’s financial statements ‘relied on misleading asset valuations and other misrepresentations to secure economic benefits.’


She also accused the ex-president of missing a mutually agreed-upon deadline to hand over eight personal financial documents — which Trump’s attorneys claim he simply does not have.


James asked that Trump be fined $10,000 a day, and perhaps more until he complies.


She accused him of ‘more delay and obfuscation’ in his excuses for not handing over the documents in question, arguing the daily increasing fine is necessary to ‘compensate’ her office ‘for its fees and costs associated with this motion,’ according to an April 7 court filing.


Trump has repeatedly denounced James’ probe as a ‘witch hunt’ and accused her of acting out of political bias. 


Trump attorney Alina Habba called James’ contempt request a ‘publicity stunt’ in an April 20 filing and claimed the onus was on his family business to produce the documents.


After a ‘dutiful search’ for what prosecutors were seeking, Habba said he ‘simply did not have any of the requested documents in his personal possession or custody.’


Instead, she claimed ‘all potentially responsive documents were in the possession, custody or control of the Trump Organization.’ 


She pointed out her client ‘was not obligated to produce documents’ in the company’s control. 


The attorney general has questioned how the Trump Organization valued the Trump brand, as well as properties including golf clubs in New York and Scotland and Trump’s own penthouse apartment in midtown Manhattan’s Trump Tower.


Habba said at the Monday hearing that James’ investigation was a ‘fishing expedition’ and that the Trump Organization was ‘right on schedule’ with its production of documents.


‘This is a political crusade,’ Habba said. ‘The attorney general’s investigation has seemingly become aimless.’


Trump, a Republican, denies wrongdoing and has called the investigation politically motivated. James is a Democrat.


Trump, Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr., were also subpoenaed and ordered by Engoron, the same judge, to provide testimony to the attorney general. An appeal is pending for that testimony.

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