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Trump raises millions in ritzy Atlanta neighborhood that wants to secede over violent crime

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Trump raises millions in ritzy Atlanta neighborhood that wants to secede over violent crime

Former President Donald Trump pulled in millions at a fundraiser in a swanky neighborhood of Atlanta that has for years railed against the Democrat-led city’s spiraling crime rate and lack of support for the police – even working to secede from the city altogether over the policies. 

“Our digital online fundraising continues to skyrocket, our major donor investments are climbing, and Democrats are running scared of the fundraising prowess of President Trump. We are not only raising the necessary funds, but we are deploying strategic assets that will help send President Trump back to the White House and carry Republicans over the finish line,” Trump campaign communications director Steven Cheung told Fox News Digital of fundraising efforts this week. 

Trump attended a fundraiser Wednesday afternoon in Buckhead, a wealthy commercial and residential district in Atlanta, where local leaders joined the 45th president, including: former Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, as well as the co-founder of Home Depot, Bernie Marcus, and poultry industry tycoon Tommy Bagwell, Fox 5 reported. 

Trump pulled in more than $15 million on Wednesday, from both the Buckhead event and another fundraiser in Orlando, a campaign official said. Guests in Buckhead spent at least $6,600 per couple, and as much as $250,000 if they wished to be part of the event’s welcoming committee, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. 

TRUMP COULD HAUL IN MASSIVE AMOUNT OF CAMPAIGN CASH DURING ATLANTA, ORLANDO FUNDRAISING SWING: WHAT TO KNOW

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Former President Donald Trump arrives at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport in Georgia on Wednesday, April 10, 2024. Trump is visiting the state to host a campaign fundraising event. (Robin Rayne for Fox News Digital)

The Buckhead fundraiser comes after Trump has repeatedly hammered a return of law and order policies across the nation if he’s re-elected come Nov. 5.

For Buckhead residents, spiraling crime rates have been a hot-button issue they have not taken lightly. 

Dubbed the “Beverly Hills of the South,” residents of the Atlanta district tried to secede from the city back in 2021 through last year, as violent crimes such as homicides continued an upward trend, as well as when vehicle thefts and shoplifting spiked.

The wealthy district has a median household income of $109,774, with residents accounting for roughly one-fifth of Atlanta’s total population, according to the district’s website. Bloomberg calculated last year that the district produces about 38% of Atlanta’s tax revenue, meaning a secession likely would have been financially devastating for the city. 

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TRUMP ATTENDS SLAIN NYPD OFFICER JONATHAN DILLER’S WAKE: ‘NEED LAW AND ORDER’

Buildings in the downtown Buckhead area of Atlanta, Georgia

Multiple young men have reported being drugged and robbed after going out in Atlanta’s Buckhead neighborhood.  (Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg)

Residents railed that city leaders weren’t properly handling crime as taxpayers paid the price. 

“We are really feeling like this is a war zone, and I don’t say that lightly, especially given what you experienced in a war zone,” Buckhead City Committee CEO Bill White told “Fox & Friends First” back in 2022. “This is murder and mayhem… We are dealing with a mayor who voted to defund the police.”

Atlanta recorded a 30-year record high in homicides in 2021, at 158 deaths, while reports of rape skyrocketed by 236% in the first few months of 2022 compared to the same time period the year prior, motor vehicle thefts shot up by 61% in 2023 and shoplifting increased by 22% last year. Violent crimes in the city have since ticked down, but just this week, police in Atlanta announced they were investigating a shooting outside a Buckhead furniture store that left a man in critical condition, Fox 5 reported. 

Riot in Atlanta in 2020

The Wendy’s restaurant where Rayshard Brooks was fatally shot burns during an Atlanta riot, June 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson, File)

Violent crimes skyrocketed across the nation in 2020, when the pandemic’s lockdowns upended day-to-day life, and protests and riots spread across the nation following the death of George Floyd at the hands of police. Activists and left-wing politicians echoed calls to defund the police in response to Floyd’s killing, including in Atlanta where the mayor at the time championed that the city had already been working on plans “reallocating” policing funds to c​​ommunity-based initiatives. 

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GEORGIA GOV. KEMP DEALS BLOW TO BUCKHEAD SUBURB TRYING TO SECEDE FROM ATLANTA OVER VIOLENT CRIME

Experts who have previously spoken to Fox Digital have pinned blame on 2020’s crime trend in part on anti-police rhetoric that washed over the nation, spurring mass resignations and early retirements from the force, as well as cops pulling back from proactively policing. 

atlanta georgia skyline

The downtown skyline in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S., on Friday, Dec. 3, 2021. (Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

“It’s obvious that police officers do not want to come work for a mayor or a city that does not back them, so Buckhead wants to take things into its own hands,” White said during the “Fox & Friends” interview in 2022. 

“We’re short 180 police officers, so what are we supposed to do?” White continued. “They said this has never been done taking a part of a city out and making its own city from that, but we’re going to do it, and we’re going to absolutely love our police.” 

TRUMP CAMPAIGN RAISES MORE THAN $50 MILLION AT FLORIDA FUNDRAISER: ‘HISTORIC’ HAUL

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The effort to secede received support from some local Republican leaders, and notably received Trump’s backing, who railed against “RINO” politicians who did not come to the aid of residents demanding assistance with crime trends. 

Former President Donald Trump arrives at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport

Former President Donald Trump arrives at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport in Georgia on Wednesday, April 10, 2024. Trump is visiting the state to host a campaign fundraising event. (Robin Rayne for Fox News Digital)

“What is happening in the City of Atlanta is nothing short of disgraceful. It’s national news and a regional embarrassment. The good people of Buckhead don’t want to be a part of defunding the police and the high crime that’s plaguing their communities,” Trump wrote in February of 2022. “However, RINOs like Governor Brian Kemp, the man responsible, along with his puppet master Mitch McConnell, for the loss of two Senate Seats and 2020 Presidential Vote, Lt. Governor Jeff Duncan, Speaker David Ralston, and State Senators Butch Miller, Jeff Mullis, and John Albers always talk a big game but they don’t deliver. 

“What good is having Republican leaders if they are unwilling to fight for what they campaigned on? Every RINO must go! Let the voters decide on the very popular City of Buckhead proposal!”

The effort to secede ultimately failed in the state Senate last year, when all Democrats and a handful of Republicans delivered the blow with a 33-23 vote. 

Donald Trump

Former President Donald Trump pumps his fist as he arrives for a GOP fundraiser, Saturday, April 6, 2024, in Palm Beach, Fla.  (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

This year, Trump has continued hammering the issue of crime trends and public safety, including in New York last month, when he attended the wake of an NYPD officer, Jonathan Diller, who was shot and killed allegedly by a career criminal. Trump called for “law and order” outside of the funeral home. 

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TRUMP PROMISES TO INDEMNIFY, PROTECT LAW ENFORCEMENT FOLLOWING NYPD JONATHAN DILLER’S DEATH

“The other day I was very honored to visit the family of an amazing man, New York Police Detective Jonathan Diller. You read about it, who was gunned down by a vicious thug, who was originally arrested by different law enforcement agencies over twenty-one times for very serious crimes. And the person with them was a known killer,” Trump said days later at a campaign stop in Wisconsin. 

“We will very importantly restore law and order to our country, and I’m going to indemnify all police officers and law enforcement officials throughout the United States to protect them from being destroyed by the radical left for taking strong actions on crime,” Trump said.

Ahead of Trump’s fundraising event in Buckhead, the 45th president pulled in more than $50 million at a GOP fundraiser in Palm Beach on Saturday. 

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Politics

New Hampshire political consultant behind AI-powered Biden robocalls hit with 24 criminal charges, $6M fine

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New Hampshire political consultant behind AI-powered Biden robocalls hit with 24 criminal charges, $6M fine

The New Hampshire political consultant behind robocalls mimicking President Biden is now facing 24 criminal charges, 13 of which are felony counts.

Steve Kramer admitted to commissioning robocalls that used artificial intelligence to generate a voice similar to President Biden encouraging recipients not to participate in the primary.

The Federal Communications Commission also announced $6 million in fines against Kramer.

“It’s important that you save your vote for the November election,” the illicit calls stated, according to New Hampshire Attorney General John Formella. The calls added, “Your vote makes a difference in November, not this Tuesday.” 

NEW HAMPSHIRE INVESTIGATING FAKE BIDEN ROBOCALL TELLING VOTERS NOT TO PARTICIPATE IN TUESDAY’S PRIMARY

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In this image taken from video, Steve Kramer speaks during an interview in Miami. (AP Photo)

“After we received multiple reports and complaints on the day these calls were made and the day after these calls were made, my office immediately opened an investigation,” Formella said.

He described how his office’s Election Law Unit worked with the Anti-Robocall Multistate Litigation Task Force, a bipartisan task force made up of 50 state attorneys general and the Federal Communications Commission Enforcement Bureau. 

Kramer previously told local outlet News 9 he produced the phone calls as a stunt to demonstrate the need to regulate AI technology.

NEW HAMPSHIRE AG TRACES ROBOCALLS WITH ‘AI-GENERATED CLONE’ OF BIDEN’S VOICE BACK TO TEXAS-BASED COMPANIES

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New Hampshire officials announce robocall probe

New Hampshire Attorney General John Formella describes the investigation into robocalls that used artificial intelligence to mimic President Biden’s voice and discourage people from voting in New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary during a news conference in Concord, N.H. (Amanda Gokee/The Boston Globe via AP)

“Maybe I’m a villain today, but I think, in the end, we get a better country and better democracy because of what I’ve done, deliberately,” Kramer previously said of the investigation.

The New Hampshire robocalls sparked immediate action in outlawing deep fakes impersonating political candidates. The FCC ruled the practice illegal in February. 

 

FCC commissioner

Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel speaks during a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. (Alex Wong/Pool via AP, File)

With the unanimous adoption of a ruling that recognizes calls made with AI-generated voices as “artificial” under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), a 1991 law restricting junk calls that use artificial and prerecorded voice messages, the FCC said it was giving state attorneys general new tools to go after those responsible for voice-cloning scams. 

WHAT IS ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (AI)?

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“Bad actors are using AI-generated voices in unsolicited robocalls to extort vulnerable family members, imitate celebrities and misinform voters. We’re putting the fraudsters behind these robocalls on notice,” FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said in a statement.

“State Attorneys General will now have new tools to crack down on these scams and ensure the public is protected from fraud and misinformation.”

Fox News’ Danielle Wallace and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Supreme Court OKs shift of Black voters to shore up GOP congressional district

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Supreme Court OKs shift of Black voters to shore up GOP congressional district

The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a state’s mapmakers may shift tens of thousands of Black voters to a different district if they were seeking to shore up a partisan advantage for a Republican candidate.

In a 6-3 decision, the justices upheld a redistricting map drawn by South Carolina’s Republican Legislature and overturned a lower court ruling that called it a “stark racial gerrymander.”

At issue was whether the state legislators drew the districts for political or racial reasons.

All six Republican appointees were in the majority and said the legislators were motivated by partisan concerns, while the three Democratic appointees dissented and said voters were shifted based on their race.

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In the past, the court had said that partisan gerrymandering is legal and as old as the nation, but racial gerrymandering is discriminatory and unconstitutional.

The justices reasoned that the Constitution permits elected officials to make decisions based on political considerations, but the 14th Amendment forbids the government from making decisions based on race.

Not surprisingly, however, those two principles come into conflict in the drawing of election districts. At issue in the South Carolina case was a congressional district in the Charleston area held by Republican Rep. Nancy Mace.

That district had regularly elected Republicans, but a Democrat won it in 2018 in what was described as a major upset. Mace ran in 2020 and won a narrow victory.

When the South Carolina Legislature redrew its seven districts in response to the 2020 Census, the mapmakers sought to shore up her district as a Republican stronghold. They shifted more than 30,000 Black voters from Mace’s district in Charleston into a Black-majority district held by Rep. James E. Clyburn, the state’s lone Democrat.

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Lawyers for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and the ACLU sued and argued the state’s redistricting plan was unconstitutional. They won a ruling from a three-judge court which said “race was the predominant motivating factor” in the drawing of Mace’s district.

Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr, speaking for the court, said the evidence showed that partisan motives were driving force.

“To untangle race from other permissible considerations, we require the plaintiff to show that race was the predominant factor motivating the legislature’s decision to place a significant number of voters within or without a particular district,” Alito said. He added that the plaintiffs did not show race was the dominant factor in drawing the districts.

Justices Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor and Ketanji Brown Jackson dissented.

“What a message to send to state legislators and mapmakers about racial gerrymandering,” Kagan said in dissent. “Go right ahead, this court says to states today. …In the electoral sphere especially, where ugly patterns of pervasive racial discrimination have so long governed, we should demand better— of ourselves, of our political representatives, and most of all of this court.”

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Unlike other redistricting cases from Alabama and Louisiana, the immediate impact of the South Carolina case looks to be limited.

Civil rights lawsuits in Alabama and Louisiana led to the creation of a second Black-majority district where a Democrat could be elected. The South Carolina litigation did not involve a possible second Black-majority district.

In March, the three judges who had struck down Mace’s district issued an order that allows this year’s election to proceed using the state’s preferred map.

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AOC demands Senate Democrats investigate reports of Jan. 6 flags flown at Supreme Court Justice Alito's home

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AOC demands Senate Democrats investigate reports of Jan. 6 flags flown at Supreme Court Justice Alito's home

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., demanded the Democrat-controlled Senate investigate reports that a flag associated with the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the Capitol was flown at Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s home. 

In an interview on MSNBC’s “All in with Chris Hayes” on Wednesday, Ocasio-Cortez described the reports as “an extraordinary breach of not just the trust and the stature of the Supreme Court, but we are seeing a fundamental challenge to our democracy.” She said that Congress did not have to wait to take action against Alito until Democrats had a majority in the House. 

“Samuel Alito has identified himself with the same people who raided the Capitol on Jan. 6, and is now going to be presiding over court cases that have deep implications over the participants of that rally,” the progressive “Squad” member said. “And while this is the threat to our democracy, Democrats have a responsibility for defending our democracy. And in the Senate, we have gavels.”

“There should be subpoenas going out. There should be active investigations that are happening,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “And I believe that when House Democrats take the majority, we are preparing and ensuring to support the broader effort to stand up our democracy. But I also believe that when Democrats have power, we have to use it. We cannot be in perpetual campaign mode. We need to be in governance mode, we need to be in accountability mode with every lever that we have. Because we cannot take a Senate majority for granted, a House majority for granted or a White House for granted.” 

The New York Times reported on Wednesday that a second flag of a type carried by rioters during the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, was displayed outside a house owned by Alito. 

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ALITO SAYS WIFE DISPLAYED UPSIDE-DOWN FLAG AFTER ARGUMENT WITH INSULTING NEIGHBOR

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., called for Senate Democrats to investigate flags flown outside a home owned by Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito.  (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

An “Appeal to Heaven” flag was flown outside Alito’s beach vacation home last summer. An inverted American flag — another symbol carried by rioters — was seen at Alito’s home outside Washington less than two weeks after the riot at the Capitol. 

News of the upside-down American flag sparked an uproar last week, including calls from high-ranking Democrats for Alito to recuse himself from cases related to former President Trump.

Alito and the court have not commented on the “Appeal to Heaven” flag. Alito previously said the inverted American flag was flown by his wife amid a dispute with neighbors, and he had no part in it.

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The white flag with a green pine tree was seen flying at the Alito beach home in New Jersey, according to three photographs obtained by the Times. The images were taken on different dates in July and September 2023, though it was not clear how long it was flying overall or how much time Alito spent there.

Alito and his wife at Billy Graham funeral

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito Jr., left, and his wife Martha-Ann Alito, pay their respects at the casket of Reverend Billy Graham at the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, Feb. 28, 2018.  (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

The flag dates back to the Revolutionary War, but in more recent years it has become associated with conservatives, Christian nationalism and support for Trump, according to the Times.

It was carried by some rioters fueled by Trump’s “Stop the Steal” movement. 

OBAMA CHEERS BIDEN JUDICIAL MILESTONE AS FORMER ADVISER WARNS OF TRUMP ‘MAGA COURT MAJORITY’ ON SUPREME COURT

Republicans in Congress and state officials have also displayed the flag. House Speaker Mike Johnson, hung it at his office last fall shortly after winning the gavel. A spokesman said the speaker appreciates its rich history and was given the flag by a pastor who served as a guest chaplain for the House, according to the Associated Press. 

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An Appeal to Heaven flag among Trump supporters

Crowds arrive for the “Stop the Steal” rally on January 6, 2021, in Washington, DC. An “Appeal to Heaven” flag is seen being flown by a supporter. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Alito is taking part in two pending Supreme Court cases associated with Jan. 6: whether Trump has immunity from prosecution for his efforts to overturn the 2020 election results and whether a certain obstruction charge can be used against rioters. He also participated in the court’s unanimous ruling that states cannot bar Trump from the ballot using the “insurrection clause” that was added to the Constitution after the Civil War.

There has been no indication that Alito would step aside from the cases. 

Another conservative on the Supreme Court, Justice Clarence Thomas, also has ignored calls to recuse himself from cases related to the 2020 election because of his wife Virginia Thomas’ support for efforts to overturn the 2020 election results.

Judicial ethics codes focus on the need for judges to be independent, avoiding political statements or opinions on matters they could be called on to decide. The Supreme Court had long gone without its own code of ethics, but it adopted one in November 2023 in the face of sustained criticism over undisclosed trips and gifts from wealthy benefactors to some justices. The code, however, lacks a means of enforcement.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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