Hard times for Trump allies

John Catsimatidis is a billionaire who is a Republican donor. He also owns a radio station WABC and Rudy Giuliani had a time slot on that show that he used to rant about his usual pet peeves. But WABC at some point warned him to stay away from topics like the 2020 election, possibly because of fears that his reckless spewing of conspiracy fantasies about the 2020 election being stolen because of rigged voting machines and software might get the station sued by Dominion and Smartmatic voting systems, the way he has been sued. He already is on the hook to pay $148 million for defaming two Georgia election workers.

But Giuliani did not heed the warnings and so the station has suspended his show.

John Catsimatidis, a New York billionaire, Republican donor and owner of WABC, told the New York Times: “We’re not going to talk about fallacies of the November 2020 election. We warned him once. We warned him twice. And I get a text from him last night, and I get a text from him this morning that he refuses not to talk about it.

“So he left me no option. I suspended him.”

Giuliani said he had been fired.

A copy of a letter from Catsimatidis to Giuliani, dated 9 May and obtained by the Guardian, said Giuliani was “prohibited from engaging in conversations relating to the 2020 presidential election on your programs broadcast on WABC … and otherwise in your capacity as an agent of the station.

“These specific topics include, but are not limited to, the legitimacy of the election results, allegations of fraud effectuated by election workers, and your personal lawsuits relating to those allegations.”

Sure enough, Giuliani claims that this is a violation of his free speech rights.

Claiming “a clear violation of free speech”, Giuliani said he would address the situation further on social media on Friday night.

It should be obvious to anyone that the right to free speech does not imply the right to demand that other people give you a platform for your speech. I am sure that he knows this but he is trying to play the victim to the MAGA crowd. Catsimatidis is reportedly a friend of serial sex abuser Donald Trump (SSAT) and Giuliani must be smarting that SSAT did not try to save him.

Meanwhile, Steve Bannon, erstwhile advisor to SSAT, has lost his appeal of a conviction for contempt of Congress. SSAT had pardoned him from the federal charges but this was brought in state court.

A unanimous ruling from a three-judge panel of the District of Columbia circuit court of appeals upheld Bannon’s conviction on Friday. The decision brings him closer to a four-month sentence behind bars meted out to Bannon for having resisted the terms of Congress’s subpoena against him.

He has one last hope left to avoid a prison term – he could appeal to the full bench of the circuit court. He has seven days to make the move.

Bannon, a former editor of the far-right news outlet Breitbart, was convicted of contempt charges at trial in July 2022, having been charged with two federal counts. He was accused of refusing to appear for a deposition and of refusing to provide documents to the committee in response to a subpoena.

He was sentenced later that year to four months in prison. The punishment was put on hold after Bannon appealed.

The number of people associated with SSAT who have been clogging up the legal system and ending up in prison, from top-level people to January 6th rioters, is extraordinary.


  1. Matt G says

    It’s so sad to see wokeness and cancel culture afflicting the billionaire class, especially since the right has almost no media outlets for their ideas….

  2. rockwhisperer says

    Goddamn it, I would be rolling on the floor laughing, except that I have serious knee issues and would need the local fire department to get me back on my feet. Someone pays you to put on a radio show subject to certain restrictions, and you whine about free speech rights? Um, who’s signing that paycheck again?

    The right eating its own is a wonderful spectacle in its own right, but to see Giuliani as the main dish at the banquet is especially delightful. And SSAT off brooding about his own problems.

  3. robert79 says

    I’m pretty sure the 1st amendment states:
    “congress shall make no law”

    “WABC shall make no law”

  4. birgerjohansson says

    Catsimatides should have spelled out “you idiot, I am not going to let you get me sued for millions of dollars over the 2020 election”. There is no point in trying to be subtle with geniuses from the MAGA crowd.

    As for Bannon, he seems as stupid as Giuliani. Both think if they wish really hard to be above the law, that will become true.
    (Hell, you don’t even need to be guilty to get locked up, ask the people being freed by DNA evidence after 20 years in the slammer)

  5. birgerjohansson says

    These clowns can keep people like Jon Stewart, Jimmy Kimmel and Stephen Colbert in business for anither century.

  6. John Morales says

    As for Bannon, he seems as stupid as Giuliani. Both think if they wish really hard to be above the law, that will become true.

    He got halfway there, but (Wikipedia):
    “In August 2020, Bannon and three others were arrested on federal charges of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and money laundering in connection with the We Build the Wall fundraising campaign. According to the grand jury indictment, Bannon and the defendants promised that all contributions would go to building a U.S.–Mexico border wall, but instead enriched themselves. Bannon pleaded not guilty.[40] On January 20, 2021, on his last day in office, Trump pardoned Bannon, sparing him from a federal trial.[41][42] Federal pardons do not cover state offenses, and in September 2022, Bannon was charged in New York state court on counts of fraud, money laundering, and conspiracy in connection with the “We Build the Wall” campaign.[1][43]”

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