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On August 11, 2022
After Trump’s home was raided by the FBI, columnist Paul Waldman scorched Trump supporters in a Thursday op-ed for seeing the former president’s struggles as symbolic for their own.
Titled "Why Trump has to sell a fantasy of collective persecution," Waldman's piece claimed to readers that Republicans are using cynical victim narratives to rally their base: "right now, with investigations potentially closing in on Trump from multiple directions, they’ve homed in on a vital message: This isn’t about Trump. It’s about you."
He mocked the idea that Trump’s travails are pitched as a "story in which every registered Republican is at risk of having their home ransacked by jackbooted government thugs."
The columnist suggested that "a sense of oppression has become central to motivating conservative voters, a way of keeping them engaged, angry and feeling that they have a personal stake in the outcome of every political event."
The start of this political narrative, Waldman claimed, came during Trump's initial 2016 campaign for the presidency when he "had an economic message with genuine appeal to a wide swath of voters, one that was based in truth even as it played on people’s resentments."
He summarized that "at its heart was a truth: Across the Rust Belt and throughout rural America, people are indeed suffering long-term problems that the current arrangements of wealth and power aren’t fixing."
All the same, Waldman mocked Trump supporters for romanticizing their own narrative and tying it with the fate of Trump, believing "whatever happens to Trump this week or next could also happen to them."
"They’re not just used to hearing that message; they glory in it. They are the sympathetic victims, the encircled defenders of justice, oppressed but unbowed," he said.
Waldman pilloried them further for seeing themselves as part of a greater narrative within American history: "You’re not just an ordinary person with an ordinary job and an ordinary life. You’re a freedom fighter waging war against forces of darkness to secure liberty’s future. The more grubby and personal Trump’s misdeeds are, the more important it is to keep telling the base that story so its allegiance won’t waver."
The Washington Post contributor made a series of accusations as he appeared to insult Trump’s base: "So every absurd Trump story will have to be presented this way: He took those classified documents for you, he cheated on his taxes for you, he tried to steal the election for you, and if, heaven forbid, he should face accountability for his wrongdoing, you will be the one who pays the price."
"To any reasonable person, it might sound absurd. But the MAGA devotees believe it with all their hearts," he concluded.
On August 11, 2022
On the heels of the high court overturning the landmark abortion case Roe v. Wade in late June, a new Fox News survey finds a record number of registered voters disapproving of the U.S. Supreme Court.
The poll, released Thursday, finds 55% of voters discontent with the court’s job performance. That’s a 7-point jump from June, shortly before the ruling, and up 24 points from two years ago in July 2020. This is the first time over half have disapproved since Fox began asking the question in 2006 -- at that time, 50% approved, 30% disapproved.
Compared to two years ago, those with the largest increases in disapproval are liberals (+39 percentage points), Democrats (+33), moderates (+33), suburban women (+32), independents (+32), and suburban Whites (+32).
While the court’s overall approval rating held relatively steady since the start of summer (39% in June vs. 41% now), it’s down 13 points since July 2020. Plus, those that were unsure two years ago have gained more clarity: 15% were uncertain of the court then and 14% in June 2022, but just 4% feel that way now.
"When it comes to judging the Court, Americans have tended to be positive though not very attentive," says Republican pollster Daron Shaw, who conducts the Fox News Poll alongside Democrat Chris Anderson. "But occasionally you get a landmark ruling like Dobbs, and people tune in. Clearly, opinion concerning the Court has polarized, which concerns those who think its legitimacy is connected to the perception that it’s impartial and non-political."
Sixty percent disapprove of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe, relatively unchanged since July.
Republicans, very conservatives, and White evangelical Christians are among the only groups who are satisfied with the ruling.
Overall, 38% approve of the ruling.
Inflation remains at the top of the issue list, with 41% citing it as the most important for their vote. But with only three months left until Election Day, abortion has emerged as the second most important issue, albeit far behind rising prices at 14%. There is a three-way tie between border security, climate change, and guns (7% apiece) for third.
In June, abortion was in third place at 10%, behind guns (12%) and inflation (41%).
Overall, voters split on their ballot choice for the midterms: 41% for the Democrat vs. 41% for the Republican. Inflation voters go for the Republican congressional candidate by 29 points, while abortion voters prefer the Democrat by 36 points.
This divide makes sense, as voters are 9 points more likely to think Democrats rather than Republicans would do a better job handling abortion, while it’s the opposite for inflation -- where voters are 15 points more likely to trust the GOP.
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"There is no doubt the overturning of Roe provides Democrats with a powerful issue," says Anderson. "Inflation could get worse, or it could get better by Election Day, and its origins and solutions are highly debatable. But the reason abortion rights have been taken away is not debatable, and it is crystal clear to voters which party wants to protect abortion rights, and which does not."
Conducted August 6-9, 2022 under the joint direction of Beacon Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R), this Fox News Poll includes interviews with 1,002 registered voters nationwide who were randomly selected from a national voter file and spoke with live interviewers on both landlines and cellphones. The total sample has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.
On August 11, 2022
Republicans are more enthusiastic than Democrats about voting in the November election, but the spread has narrowed, according to a new Fox News national survey.
If voting today, the survey shows the race tied, as 41% would back the Democratic candidate in their House district and 41% the Republican. The GOP had a 3-point edge in July and June, and a 7-point advantage in May.
"Between passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, killing al Qaeda’s leader, less pain at the pump, and the Republican-appointed Supreme Court justices taking away abortion rights, the political landscape is less horrible for Democrats," says Democratic pollster Chris Anderson, who conducts the Fox surveys with Republican Daron Shaw. "There are successes Democrats can point to that didn’t exist in the spring, but the biggest single change I see in this poll is the increased disapproval of the Supreme Court and suspect that is a significant factor."
Fifty-five percent disapprove of the Supreme Court’s job performance, up from 48% in June.
Meanwhile, the shift in vote preference mainly comes from women. They preferred the GOP candidate by 1 point in May and now go for the Democrat by 6.
Also since May, party loyalty among Democrats increased by 3 points and decreased among Republicans by 2 points. And while independents remain largely undecided, their support for the GOP candidate is down 2 points.
More Republicans than Democrats are enthusiastic about casting a ballot (50% vs. 41%) and certain they will vote (69% vs. 60%).
Shaw says the survey results still favor the GOP in November.
"In recent congressional elections, an even ballot test has meant the Republicans are extremely likely to win a majority of seats," says Shaw. "This is because of two things. One, Democrats are more geographically concentrated in a smaller set of districts and two, Republicans have drawn more districts to their advantage. This effect should remain in 2022, although it may be diminished after the latest round of redistricting."
The generic ballot number comes from a national survey of voters and not from a series of individual Congressional district surveys. Because more districts have been drawn to be overwhelmingly Democratic than overwhelmingly Republican, the Democrats need a higher generic ballot number to expect to win more actual seats.
Inflation is clearly the top issue to voters and it’s not even close. Forty-one percent say it will be most important to their vote for Congress, with abortion a distant second at 14%. All other issues are in the mid-to-low single digits, including border security, climate change, and guns.
Republicans (51%) are twice as likely as Democrats (25%) to prioritize inflation. That’s because many Democrats put abortion (20%), climate change (12%), and voting rights (11%) at the top. For Republicans, after inflation, the priorities are border security (13%) and abortion (10%).
Those prioritizing inflation are more likely to back the Republican candidate by a 54-25% margin, while those emphasizing abortion go for the Democratic candidate by 61%-25%.
Among voters whose top issue is abortion, 75% disapprove of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade. Overall, 38% of voters approve of the Dobbs decision, while 60% disapprove.
While fewer voters approve of Dobbs, more of them are extremely motivated to vote than those who disapprove (59% vs. 50%).
Voters say Republicans can better handle border security (+19 points), inflation (+15), and crime (+15). They trust Democrats on climate change (+12) and abortion (+9). It’s more evenly divided on education (D +2) and gun policy (R +3), and there’s no party advantage on handling the future of American democracy or opioid addiction.
Independents trust Republicans over Democrats to handle most issues, including the top issue of inflation (R +27 points), plus crime (R +38), border security (R +35), gun policy (R +21), the future of American democracy (R +11), and opioid addiction (R +9). They think Democrats can better handle climate change (D +8) and abortion (D +7).
"The issue climate remains extremely favorable to the GOP," says Shaw. "The introduction of the abortion issue through the Dobbs decision means it may be ‘less terrible’ for the Democrats, but the main question continues to be whether Republicans can capitalize on their good fortune or whether they squander their advantage."
Both President Biden and former President Trump are drags on their party this November. By an 11-point margin, more say their congressional vote will be to express opposition to Biden rather than support for him. For Trump, opposition is higher by 10 points. One-third say Biden and Trump won’t be a factor in their vote.
Forty-two percent of voters approve of the job Biden’s doing, while 58% disapprove. That’s up from a low of 40-59% last month. His highest ratings, 56-43%, came in June 2021.
It’s tough for the president to help a congressional candidate with those marks, although he’s not alone. A Biden endorsement makes voters less likely to support a candidate by 20 points, while one from Trump does more to hurt than help by 15. In fact, all the political officials included on the survey would make voters less likely to support the endorsed candidate: Vice President Kamala Harris (less likely by 21 points), Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney (18), former Vice President Mike Pence (13), Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders (12), and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (6).
On a party-line vote Sunday, the Senate passed Democrats’ new domestic spending plan, known as the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. Views on the plan also split among voters, with 44% approving and disapproving. Nearly half say they at least somewhat understand what’s in the plan, and among this group 59% approve, while 37% disapprove. Some of that comes from more Democrats (55%) than Republicans (42%) being familiar with the bill
Seventy-two percent of voters think it is important for the Justice Department to investigate Hunter Biden's business dealings with foreign government. By comparison, 65% say the January 6 hearings are important, down from 71% who felt that way in June.
Over half of Democrats (61%) join two-thirds of independents (67%) and a large majority of Republicans (86%) in saying investigating Hunter Biden is important.
Fewer than half of Republicans (41%) join two-thirds of independents (65%) and an overwhelming majority of Democrats (91%) in calling the January 6 investigation important.
Forty-five percent of independents and 44% of generic ballot undecideds say the events at the U.S. Capitol on January 6 will have a great deal or some influence on their vote this fall.
Overall, 50% say January 6 will influence their vote, and they support the Democratic candidate over the Republican by a 62-23% margin.
Conducted August 6-9, 2022, under the joint direction of Beacon Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R), this Fox News Poll includes interviews with 1,002 registered voters nationwide who were randomly selected from a national voter file and spoke with live interviewers on both landlines and cellphones. The total sample has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.
Fox News’ Victoria Balara contributed to this report.
On August 11, 2022
An Oregon man was arraigned on Wednesday after allegedly hurling a rock the size of a basketball at a woman moments after being released from an emergency mental health crisis center.
On Aug. 9, a woman in the area was on a walk and observed 40-year-old Dwayne A. Simpson walking up and down the street.
The victim turned her back to him before she "felt a strong impact on her head," a press release from Multnomah County states.
The victim fell to the ground, hitting her head on the concrete barrier, where she lay for approximately 2 minutes. She was unable to recall to police whether she lost consciousness after the attack.
Witnesses told police it appeared that Simpson appeared to be carrying a large rock.
Portland Police arrived to the scene and arrested Simpson, and the victim was rushed to an area hospital to receive medical attention.
Authorities obtained the rock used in the attack as evidence and determined it weighed 34.5 pounds.
The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office asked the court to hold the defendant in custody without bail until trial. Simpson was charged with first-degree attempted assault, second-degree assault and unlawful use of a weapon.
On August 11, 2022
Britney Spears and her ex-husband, Kevin Federline, are battling on Instagram, and things are getting ugly.
Federline, 44, shared three old videos showing Spears scolding their two sons: Sean, 16, and Jayden, 15. Spears and Federline married in October 2004 after dating for nearly 10 months. Their divorce was finalized in July 2007.
Spears has not yet addressed the footage, but her attorney, Mathew Rosengart, shared a statement with Fox News Digital, slamming Federline for posting the videos and for his explosive interview with The Daily Mail.
"Britney Spears is a brilliantly talented, extremely hardworking icon, who is rightfully beloved and respected by millions around the world," Rosengart told Fox News Digital. "The same, unfortunately, cannot be said about Mr. Federline, who for reasons that are inexplicable, decided to give a gratuitous interview that has hurt the mother of his children."
He continued: "Britney has faithfully supported her children and she loves them dearly. Whether he realizes it or not, Mr. Federline has not only violated the privacy and dignity of the mother of his children, he has undermined his own children, whose privacy he should protect… Mr Federline's ill-advised decision to post an old video of his 11 and 12 year old children was cruel, bottom of the barrel stuff. It was abhorrent."
Rosengart noted that Spears will "not tolerate bullying in any area."
"We urge Mr. Federline to act with a measure of grace and decency and to cease from publicly discussing private matters, which benefits no one," he concluded.
A representative for Federline did not immediately respond to Fox News' request for comment.
Federline captioned the since-deleted post, "I can not sit back and let my sons be accused in this way after what they’ve been through. As much as it hurts us, we decided as a family to post these videos."
He noted that his sons were 12 and 11 years old when the videos were taken.
"This isn’t even the worst of it. The lies have to stop. I hope our kids grow up to be better than this," he continued.
In the videos posted by Federline, Spears was seen scolding her sons. "This is my house," she told them. "If I want to come in here and give you lotion for your face because it’s coarse … y’all better start respecting me, are we clear?"
In a second video, Spears was seen yelling at her oldest son, Sean, for not wearing shoes inside a store. "Have you lost your f–king mind? Have you lost your f–king mind?" she yelled from the passenger seat of the car.
As punishment, Spears told Sean she was taking his phone away.
Federline's Instagram post was in response to Spears' since-deleted post in which she said her sons decided not to visit her during her conservatorship and it "knocked the breath out of me."
"I talk about it because my heart doesn't understand cruelty. It breaks my heart because it seems to be that these days, cruelty does in fact win, although it's not about winning or losing !!!" Spears wrote. "But I can't process how I dedicated 20 years of my life to those kids … everything was about them !!! For them to knock the breath out of me."
Her lengthy caption continued: "See you can't fix me !!! No therapy or sense of worship can fix my heart !!! I will forever have trauma and I know this, I've accepted it ... it would take a miracle to fix my heart and not one miracle, maybe 3 !!!"
The "Womanizer" singer shared that Sean and Jayden told her they planned to visit her less often this summer.
"I always TRIED and TRIED, and maybe that's why they stopped coming here !!! I wanted them to love me so much that I might have overdone it !!!" the singer wrote. "This summer, they told me, 'we may come here less' and I was like that's fine. I called their dad and I told him that it seems like the boys are wanting to stop coming here as much, which I get because they have their own thing going on but I feel like they are being pretty harsh."
The back-and-forth feud between the exes began when Federline spoke with the Daily Mail last week, claiming it was his children's choice to stop seeing their mother.
"The boys have decided they are not seeing her right now," Federline shared with the outlet. "It's been a few months since they've seen her. They made the decision not to go to her wedding."
Spears married her longtime love, Sam Asghari, at her Thousand Oaks home in June. Her sons were notably absent from the festivities.
On August 11, 2022
A community college in Maryland took down a job posting that stated "minority" applicants are being sought for the position.
The job posting for Montgomery College in Maryland stated that the position was a paid "Part-time English Composition Faculty Internship," according to Campus Reform.
"We are seeking two minority faculty interns starting in August 2022 for the 2022-2023 academic year who are interested in being an engaging, student-centered college educator," the job posting read.
The employment discrimination law in Maryland states that employers cannot discriminate in hiring based on "race, color, religion, ancestry or national origin, sex, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, or genetic information."
After Campus Reform contacted the community college, the job posting was taken down.
In a statement to Fox News Digital, a spokesperson for Montgomery College said that the wording used in the job posting did not reflect the college's goal of providing equal opportunity to all employees and job applicants.
"Montgomery College is committed to providing equal opportunities for all employees and job applicants. When hiring new employees, we seek to attract a candidate pool that reflects the rich diversity of the community and students that we serve. The wording used in the recent job posting for a faculty intern position did not accurately reflect this goal," the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson added that the job posting was "temporarily removed" but will be reposted with a "revised position description."
Heritage Foundation Senior Legal Fellow Sarah Parshall Perry told Campus Reform that the original job posting is a violation of Maryland employment discrimination law, federal civil rights law, and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.
"The restriction of applicants to a federally-funded educational entity by their race is a violation of both federal civil rights law (Title VI of the Civil Rights Act), and Maryland employment discrimination law (§20-602, Annotated Code of Maryland), as well as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act," Perry said.
On August 11, 2022
A source close to former President Trump told Fox News Thursday that new reports suggesting an informant tipped off the FBI about alleged sensitive documents being held at Mar-a-Lago are "irrelevant."
The source reasoned that Trump and the former president's representatives have been "cooperating" with the FBI and the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) for a year.
The source's comments follow reports the FBI received a tip suggesting there could be additional classified documents at Mar-a-Lago beyond what Trump had turned over.
Trump's office received a grand jury subpoena in the spring for classified documents he allegedly took from the White House when he left office in 2021, a source close to Trump told Fox News, noting the former president cooperated with the subpoena by turning over documents to the FBI June 3.
According to the source, a subpoena was issued to a "custodian of the president" and was related to the materials that NARA was trying to collect after claiming Trump improperly took those classified records with him from Washington, D.C., to Mar-a-Lago.
On June 3, the FBI visited Mar-a-Lago to retrieve the requested documents in the subpoena, which Trump complied with, the source told Fox News.
Those investigators toured the area of the Florida resort where some documents were stored, then briefly viewed and took custody of a small amount of potentially sensitive material. Separate sources told Fox News that federal investigators had spoken with at least one person who relayed the possibility of more sensitive national security material in that storage room and other areas of the property.
FBI officials that day asked to see a storage facility where the records were located. The FBI asked staff to put a lock on the storage room, which was done.
This source said Trump and his staff were, and are, committed to being in compliance with the Presidential Records Act, which requires presidential administrations to preserve certain documents.
The source says Trump’s staff has been interviewed by the FBI with regard to the NARA investigation over the last several months.
The FBI interviewed staff who moved boxes from the White House, administrative staff and others who helped to organize Trump’s departure from the Oval Office and questioned those individuals on what they were involved in moving.
"The reality is, you talk to anyone part of an administration and leaving the White House and they will tell you it is always a chaotic thing," the source said. The source added it is "not surprising" records "came that should have stayed," and it is "not unusual for NARA and former administration officials to be in communications about documents and whether or not they should have left the White House or stayed behind.
"Even if there was an informant — someone who told the FBI that all of these things are there inside Mar-a-Lago — the FBI could have just asked for it, as the president and his team have been cooperating for a year," the source added.
Investigators also spoke to at least one witness about the existence of sensitive material remaining in a Mar-a-Lago basement. Those sources would not characterize that person as an "informant" or the information received as a "tip."
The raid was related to NARA, which said earlier this year that Trump took 15 boxes of presidential records to his personal residence in Florida. Those boxes allegedly contained "classified national security information" and official correspondence between Trump and foreign heads of state.
NARA notified Congress in February that the agency recovered the 15 boxes from Mar-a-Lago and "identified items marked as classified national security information within the boxes." The matter was referred to the Justice Department by NARA.
Classified material that was reportedly confiscated by the FBI during the raid Monday included a letter to Trump from former President Obama, a letter from Kim Jong Un, a birthday dinner menu and a cocktail napkin.
Meanwhile, on Thursday, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced he "personally" approved the warrant for the raid of Mar-a-Lago and filed a motion in the Southern District of Florida for the warrant and the receipt of property from Monday's search to be unsealed.
Moments after Garland made his rare public statement from the DOJ, Trump posted to his TRUTH Social.
"My attorneys and representatives were cooperating fully, and very good relationships had been established," Trump posted. "The government could have had whatever they wanted, if we had it.
"They asked us to put an additional lock on a certain area — DONE!" he added. "Everything was fine, better than that of most previous Presidents, and then, out of nowhere and with no warning, Mar-a-Lago was raided, at 6:30 in the morning, by VERY large numbers of agents, and even ‘safecrackers.’
"They got way ahead of themselves. Crazy!"
Search for missing Kiely Rodni: Police activate CodeRed system after teen disappeared from campground partyOn August 11, 2022
California authorities on Thursday activated the CodeRed Emergency Alert System and continue to search for missing Kiely Rodni, 16, who was last seen at a party in Tahoe National Forest over the weekend.
Rodni vanished from a Prosser Family Campground party of more than 300 people, including high schoolers and young adults, just after midnight on Aug. 6 in Truckee, California. No witnesses saw her leave the Prosser Family Campground, and authorities believe the teenager may have been abducted.
"We have about an 80% enrollment for Nevada County, so out of our 100,000 residents, that message should hit about 80,000 residents," Nevada County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Sam Brown said of the CodeRed alert during a Thursday afternoon press conference.
An Amber Alert has not been issued in the case at this time because there is no evidence to confirm that Rodni was abducted.
"We have other countries that are even asking and wanting to talk to the family, so there's support, I think because people feel like they could be even in this same situation themselves. We just want word out so that more eyes are out because we don't have an exact spot to look for, and that is unusual — especially with a large object like a car," Brown said.
Additionally, investigators are asking those who went to the Prosser Family Campground party to submit photos or videos of a big fight that apparently occurred the night Rodni disappeared.
The Placer County Sheriff’s Office and Nevada County Sheriff’s Office said in a Thursday morning statement that they have put "numerous resources" to use to help find the missing girl, and "agencies have responded to help locate Kiely over the past several days."
"Searchers from across the state continue their search on the ground, in the air, and in the water — so far, we only have information on Kiely’s last known location before she went missing," they said in a Facebook post. "Detectives from local, state, and federal agencies continue to follow up on leads and conduct interviews in hopes of locating Kiely and her vehicle."
Between Aug. 6 and Aug. 10, more than 220 law enforcement personnel have been assigned to the search for Rodni, and officials have received more than 500 tips related to the case.
Rodni was last seen at a large end-of-summer high school party in the Tahoe National Forest that stretched from Friday night into the early hours of Saturday. Authorities say there is no evidence to confirm a kidnapping at this time.
Authorities have conducted search efforts since then, including dive teams that entered the Prosser Creek Reservoir on Wednesday looking near the shoreline for signs of Rodni or her silver Honda CRV, which is also missing. But they found no clues to lead them to Rodni's whereabouts.
Police said she last spoke with friends and family shortly after midnight on Aug. 6 and that her phone was turned off around 12:33 a.m.
The phone last pinged near the Prosser Family Campground within Tahoe National Forest in Truckee at the site of a high school graduation party involving more than 300 attendees from several surrounding communities — and a few from as far away as San Francisco — plus drugs and alcohol. Authorities are still trying to find someone who witnessed Rodni leaving the party before she disappeared.
The 16-year-old was wearing a black bodysuit and Dickies pants in surveillance footage captured hours before she disappeared.
Rodni is described as 5-foot-7 and about 118 pounds. She has blonde hair and hazel eyes. She has a tattoo on her ribs of the number "17." She has a nose ring and several other piercings. She drives a silver 2013 Honda CRV with California license plate 8YUR127. It has a small ram's head sticker on the back window, under the rear wiper blade.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Placer County Sheriff’s Office’s dedicated tip line at 530-581-6320. Callers can remain anonymous. Those with photos and videos that may assist with the investigation into Rodni's disappearance can submit them to officials here.
The family is offering a $50,000 reward for Kiely’s return.
Fox News' Michael Ruiz contributed to this report.
On August 11, 2022
Scott Peterson appeared in a California court on Thursday for prosecutors and attorneys to argue their respective cases over whether the convicted killer deserves a new trial in the 2002 murders of his wife and unborn son.
Peterson, now 49, wore a blue coronavirus face mask, handcuffs and dark orange, jail-issued clothing for the Thursday morning hearing in connection to the potential for a retrial in the 20-year-old case that sent shockwaves through the nation: the slayings of his wife, Laci, and their unborn child, Conner.
The hearing stemmed from defense attorneys' argument that juror Richelle Nice was biased. They argued Nice lied to get on the jury that convicted Peterson in 2004 and put him on death row for the murders of Laci, 27, and the unborn child they planned to name Conner.
The California Supreme Court overturned Peterson’s death sentence in 2020 and tasked Superior Court Judge Anne-Christine Massullo with deciding if he received a fair trial.
Massullo argued that Peterson’s attorneys at the time could have asked follow-up questions to clarify some of Nice’s responses. She noted that there were several inconsistencies in the prospective juror questionnaire in the original trial.
During his arguments to the court on Thursday, Peterson attorney Cliff Gardner said Nice contradicted herself in multiple statements, and later changed her answers to certain questions regarding her personal experiences and feelings. He argued she was inconsistent and uncooperative.
Gardner said Nice refused in 2015 to speak to the defense or the prosecution — and only testified in 2022 because she was granted immunity.
He pointed to "some important inconsistencies in Ms. Nice’s versions of events, evolution of her versions of events from 2020 to 2020.
"That suggests that she hasn't been as consistent, like in a witness that we're going to find credible," Gardner added.
He added: "She refused to testify unless she was given immunity from prosecution. This is as far from a cooperating witness, I think, as you can get."
Gardner also said Nice responded "no" to a question asking whether she could base her decision entirely on the evidence produced in court and not from outside or pre-existing opinions or attitudes. Peterson's attorney at the time, who is no longer involved with the case, did not follow up on this answer.
Nice then took steps to contact Peterson after convicting him, Gardner said.
"She gave Conner a nickname, called him ‘Little Man,’" he told the court. "She took the extraordinary step after conviction and after having put Mr. Peterson on death row, [of] beginning correspondence with a series of letters. And the court has seen the letters and the letters. Each of them has various focuses, but one of the focuses of every letter is his "Little man.'"
David Harris with the Stanislaus County District Attorney's Office told the court that Nice, when asked why she considered herself a "fair person," responded: "I know what it's like to be judged."
The prosecution says Nice was a single mom who had never been on a jury before this trial and thought it would be a part of her civic duty.
The 23-page questionnaire had 163 questions, and "she did the best that she could."
Harris says there is no doubt that Nice made mistakes, but that doesn't make her a liar.
"She's inconsistent on her answers," he told the court. "But being wrong does not necessarily make it false or make her a liar. It just might be that she's really bad at filling out forms."
Harris later added: "Nice showed sometimes that she could be a little bit confused about things."
The prosecutor also argued that Nice was not lying when she responded "no" to the original trial's juror questionnaire about being involved in any lawsuits. A layperson, he said, might misuse or misunderstand legal terminology.
"How many times have we heard jurors sit in the box and say, ‘my house was robbed’?" he said, providing an example for his argument. "A house can't be robbed legally, so they're wrong. But they're telling you what they believe is the circumstances in that particular case. It was a burglary. It was not a robbery. So they're wrong about what the crime is. That does not make them a liar."
Harris further pointed to the evidence police had garnered against Peterson during the course of his investigation into Laci's and Conner's deaths.
"From the simple fact that Laci and Conner, whose bodies washed ashore 90 miles from their home, but within sight of where Peterson admitted he went fishing on the day that they disappeared; to the research Peterson did on bay currents in the weeks preceding her disappearance; and the fishing boat he bought, but mentioned [to] no one; to Peterson's inability to explain what he was fishing for in the middle of the day; to his repeated subsequent, serendipitous trips to the marina in the weeks after her disappearance; to the many steps he took in the weeks after she went missing – selling her car, exploring sale of the house, turning the nursery into a storage room – that indicated that he already knew Laci and Conner were never coming back," Harris said.
Nice was an alternate juror who joined the jury deliberations after two original jurors were removed. The panel ultimately found Peterson guilty in 2004 of first-degree murder in the death of his wife and the second-degree murder of their unborn son. He was sentenced to death in 2005.
Peterson’s attorneys contend, among other things, that Nice sought to be on the jury because she wanted notoriety and for financial reasons. They have also argued that she lied about her lack of bias to get on the jury, and lied again in a sworn declaration in 2020.
Peterson’s attorneys have argued that Nice's nickname for Conner, "little man," was among several indications that she was biased against their client.
And a former fellow juror testified in March that Nice walked into the jury room during deliberations in 2004 and blurted out "that he should basically pay for killing ‘little man.’"
Nice testified earlier that she held no bias against Peterson until after she heard the evidence that he dumped his wife’s body into San Francisco Bay on Christmas Eve 2002.
Nice failed to disclose during jury selection that she sought a restraining order while pregnant in 2000, saying she "really fears for her unborn child" because of threats from her boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend.
She said in her sworn declaration 20 years later that she didn’t "feel ‘victimized’ the way the law might define that term."
Renowned attorney and former homicide detective Ted Williams, who has been following the ongoing proceedings, told Fox News Digital during Thursday’s lunch break that the defense team has "a high bar to get Scott Peterson’s sentence overturned."
"I believe here that even if you had a juror who did not properly answer on the questionnaire, that in and of itself is not enough to get a sentence overturned," said Williams, who is also a Fox News contributor. "Unless they can show … that she, by virtue of what she had to say, was able to influence all the jurors other than just [by] participating as a juror, that also will not get this verdict overturned."
Williams said he was "deeply concerned" and had personal experience as an attorney in trying to have a jury verdict tossed.
"They have got to show that what this juror did prejudiced the case against Scott Peterson so that he was found guilty predicated and based upon anything she specifically did," he went on. "That’s not going to be easy."
The evidence against Peterson, Williams said, was "overwhelming."
"Scott Peterson is lucky because everything that I know about this case leads me to believe that Scott Peterson should be on death row rather than serving the rest of his life in a cell," he added.
Williams said he believed each side was putting on "a very good case." He called Gardner "vociferous" in making his points, and said he was "dealing with the law as best he can."
He added: "I will be deeply surprised if the court overturns the sentence of Scott Peterson and gives him a new trial."
Fox News' Laura Prabucki and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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