Jan 6 hearings – live: Trump defends ‘perfect’ phone calls pressuring Georgia officials to overturn election

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Donald Trump has taken to Truth Social to defend his campaign to pressure Georgia state officials into overturning the 2020 election, insisting that his phonecalls to them were “perfect” – this as he faces a grand jury investigation into his actions by the district attorney in Fulton County.

Mr Trump has also expressed worries that the Jan 6 select committee may be gaining access to “inner secrets” of the government, and referred to his former White House counsel Pat Cipollone – who will be testifying privately tomorrow – as a “lawyer acting for the Country” that “may some day be brought before a partisan and openly hostile Committee in Congress, or even a fair and reasonable Committee, to reveal the inner secrets of foreign policy or other important matters. So bad for the USA!”

Mr Cipollone, who has emerged as a key witness into the activities of Mr Trump and his allies, has been under pressure to speak to the panel for some time. and his recollections are expected to provide crucial insight into the former president’s attempts to overturn the 2020 election.

Key Points

Fox & Friends lambasts Boris Johnson for Trumpian behaviour

15:58 , Andrew Naughtie

The hosts of Fox & Friends have weighed in on the defenestration of Boris Johnson – criticizing him for all manner of improprieties and missteps that bring to mind a certain president of whom they’re generally quite fond...

Trump rises to defend Georgia election pressure campaign

15:34 , Andrew Naughtie

Donald Trump is awake and truthing on his bespoke “free speech” platform, Truth Social. First on his list of grievances today is the ongoing investigation into his and his allies’ efforts to pressure officials in Georgia into invalidating Joe Biden’s 2020 victory there based on false claims and conspiracy theories.

The calls in question, which he still claims were “perfect” and legal, are now the subject of a grand jury investigation in Fulton County.

 (Truth Social)
(Truth Social)
 (Truth Social)
(Truth Social)

Analysis: Why Sarah Matthews’s testimony matters so much

14:45 , Andrew Naughtie

Andrew Feinberg takes a look at the implications of this week’s news that another Trump administration aide, former deputy press secretary Sarah Matthews, will be testifying to the Jan 6 committee in a televised hearing.

He writes that Ms Matthews is another example of a particularly important breed of Washington insider whose insight can be devastating to former bosses under scrutiny:

If you look at photos of White House meetings, there’s always an outer ring of chairs populated by people who staff the decision-makers — or the principals — seated around the table. People with titles such as Special Assistant and Deputy Assistant and Assistant this-or-that will often circulate between offices while making arrangements and relaying messages between the bold-faced names they serve.

Yet those principals often forget that the young staffers – often no older than their mid-20s – are in the room. The twentysomethings who keep Washington running are often invisible to all but a select few (usually reporters) who know to pay attention.

Read the full piece below.

The problem Donald Trump didn’t see coming

Another Jan 6 defendant cites hearings in jury challenge

14:05 , Andrew Naughtie

In a new court filing, one of the scores of alleged 6 January rioters has claimed that the select committee investigating the Capitol attack has “poisoned the jury pool” by broadcasting its hearings, essentially making it impossible for him to get a fair trial.

Robert Morss, a Pennsylvania resident who has been refused pre-trial release, is facing trial alongside eight others accused of acting together to assault police officers trying to protect Congress from being stormed by the mob of Trump supporters who arrived to halt the certification of Joe Biden’s victory.

Missouri GOP candidate doubles down on violent imagery as primary nears

13:35 , Andrew Naughtie

Eric Greitens is still running for the Republican nomination in the Missouri Senate despite horrific allegations of domestic abuse – and rather than smoothing over his image as a volatile man, he has upped the ante in his recent ads, with one video showing him storming a house alongside armed shock troops in search of “RINOs” to kill.

Another ad shows him stalking through a field with a rifle, wearing a maniacally fixed smile as camouflaged figures rise out of the grass behind him.

These videos are drawing increasing alarm as the primary draws near and Mr Greitens seeks Donald Trump’s potentially decisive endorsement. One former friend of the candidate has now put out a video of his own calling on Mr Greitens to de-escalate his increasingly violent campaign.

Watch: Liz Cheney’s direct appeal to Pat Cipollone

13:00 , Andrew Naughtie

At the last 6 January hearing, which featured the devastating testimony of former Mark Meadows aide Cassidy Hutchinson, Liz Cheney delievered a wrap-up statement in which she directly appealed to ex-White House counsel Pat Cipollone to break his silence and talk to her panel.

In her address, Ms Cheney acknowledged that former Trump administration officials of all ranks are under intense pressure not to testify, Mr Cipollone among them. But since Ms Hutchinson testified and with the public pressure on him mounting, Mr Cipollone has since agreed to talk – albeit in private.

Trump-backed candidate’s alarming online history resurfaces

12:25 , Andrew Naughtie

Businessman Blake Masters enjoys the backing of Donald Trump in his campaign to get the GOP Senate nomination in Arizona, a must-win seat in a state that has obsessed the former president since he lost it in 2020.

But Mr Masters has been hit by more than one unedifying story about his appeal to the far right. He was recently obliged to reject the endorsement of neo-Nazi blogger Andrew Anglin, founder of the infamous Daily Stormer site – and now, he is being haunted by old posts he left on a CrossFit forum and a libertarian site in the 2000s.

Among the messages he left was one floating an antisemitic conspiracy theory about the US’s entry into World War I, a post that ended with a quote from one of the most senior officers of the Third Reich.

How do you pronounce “Cipollone”?

11:30 , Andrew Naughtie

SIP-pol-LO-nee. That’s the correct pronunciation of Pat Cipollone’s surname, an important thing to know as the former White House Counsel prepares to talk to the 6 January committee after more than a year of back-and-forth.

Not everyone finds it easy – and automated closed-captioning software has a particular challenge decscribing the man it calls “Patsy Baloney”.

ICYMI: FBI chief and deputy targeted by Trump both targeted with IRS audits

10:55 , Andrew Naughtie

Two high-ranking FBI officials who became the personal enemies of Donald Trump when he was president were later targeted by the IRS for rare audits of their tax filings that experts said raised questions about whether the move was political.

James Comey and Andrew McCabe, former FBI director and deputy director, respectively, were audited by the IRS after leaving the agency following the Trump-Russia investigation which infuriated then-President Donald Trump and led to his claims that the “deep state” was working to overthrow him.

The New York Times first reported their audits on Wednesday, noting that the two did not know about the coincidence themselves until a Times reporter informed them.

John Bowden has the story.

FBI chief and deputy targeted by Trump both underwent rare intensive IRS audits

Biden invokes Trump on stage

10:19 , Andrew Naughtie

In a rare use of his predecessor’s name in public, Joe Biden entertained a crowd in Cleveland, Ohio by jesting that Donald Trump was calling him onstage.

Mr Biden was there to highlight federal action to shore up troubled pension funding for millions now on the job or retired. His speech at a Cleveland high school showcased a final rule tied to his $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package from last year. The rule allows troubled multi-company pensions to be made financially whole, ensuring full benefits for 2 million to 3 million workers and retirees.

Read more from Gustaf Kilander:

Biden jokes ‘unfortunately that’s probably Trump calling me’ as phone goes off

Lindsey Graham will not comply with Georgia election probe subpoena

09:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Attorneys for Senator Lindsey Graham say he will not comply with a subpoena issued to him as part of a Fulton County, Georgia grand jury investigation into former president Donald Trump’s push to overturn Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory in the Peach State.

In a statement provided to The Independent, attorneys Bart Daniel and Matt Austin say Fulton County investigators have told them Mr Graham is “simply a witness” and “neither a subject nor target of the investigation” but dismissed the investigation being overseen by Fulton County DA Fani Willis as “all politics”.

Andrew Feinberg reports.

Senator Lindsey Graham will not comply with subpoena in Georgia election probe

Kinzinger posts video detailing vulgar death threats

09:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump and his service on the House January 6 select committee have prompted Mr Trump’s supporters to repeatedly call into his office and leave vulgar death threats on the office’s voicemail box.

Mr Kinzinger, an Iraq and Afghanistan veteran who still holds a reserve commission as a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air National Guard, revealed the horrific threats in a compilation of them which he posted to his Twitter account on Tuesday.

Andrew Feinberg reports on the vile threats to which Mr Kinzinger has been subjected.

Adam Kinzinger posts video detailing vulgar death threats

Giuliani says Trump should have pardoned himself

08:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Disgraced lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who played a key role in the long chain of events leading to the January 6 attack on the Capitol, has mused that Donald Trump should have pardoned himself before leaving office.

Speaking on his personal podcast, Mr Giuliani remarked that it appears the ex-president is likely to face charges because of what has been uncovered by the committee investigating the riot.

Andrew Naughtie has the story.

Giuliani says Trump should have pardoned himself before leaving office

Biden’s communications director leaving the White House

07:15 , Oliver O'Connell

White House communications director Kate Bedingfield is departing in the coming weeks, the Biden administration announced on Thursday, marking an end to a parnership that spanned back to Joe Biden’s time as vice president.

Politico and The Wall Street Journal reported the news first on Wednesday, citing White House officials who said that Ms Bedingfield had begun notifying associates of her impending departure. A White House spokesperson later confirmed the news to The Independent.

John Bowden reports.

Biden’s communications director Kate Bedingfield is leaving the White House

More subpoenas likely coming for Trump’s inner circle

07:12 , Shweta Sharma

Georgia district attorney Fani Willis, who is investigating Donald Trump’s attempt to influence the election result there, said additional subpoenas are likely to follow for associates and allies in his inner circle.

She also suggested there was the possibility of subpoenaing the former president himself.

“We’ll just have to see where the investigation leads us,” Ms Willis told NBC News.

“I think that people thought that we came into this as some kind of game,” she continued. “This is not a game at all. What I am doing is very serious. It’s very important work. And we’re going to do our due diligence and making sure that we look at all aspects of the case.”

Donald Trump fears inner secrets being revealed to ‘hostile Committee'

06:56 , Shweta Sharma

As Donald Trump’s White House counsel Pat Cipollone is set to testify before the Jan 6 panel, the former president has lashed out at the idea that the “lawyer for the country” could be made to reveal conversations about the “inner secrets” of the White House.

“Why would a future President of the United States want to have candid and important conversations with his White House Counsel if he thought there was even a small chance that this person, essentially acting as a ‘lawyer’ for the Country, may some day be brought before a partisan and openly hostile Committee in Congress, or even a fair and reasonable Committee, to reveal the inner secrets of foreign policy or other important matters,” he said on Truth Social.

“So bad for the USA!”

Trump press aide to testify at Jan 6 committee hearing

06:15 , Oliver O'Connell

A former Trump White House staffer who resigned after the 6 January riot at the US Capitol is set to testify publicly to the select committee investigating the incident.

Sarah Matthews, who served as deputy press secretary in the later phase of the administration, will reportedly be appearing by agreement at a future hearing after receiving a subpoena, according to CNN.

Andrew Naughtie reports.

Trump press aide who quit after Capitol riot to testify at Jan 6 committee hearing

Capitol rioters’ reaction to Trump video in real time

05:15 , Oliver O'Connell

A new video of the scene inside the Capitol itself shows the minutes immediately following the White House’s release of a video in which Donald Trump instructed his supporters to leave the building.

Posted on Twitter by NBC News’s Ryan J. Reilly on Tuesday, it was apparently shot by Pam Hemphill, a participant in riot who was sentences to 60 days in prison for her presence inside the Capitol as Trump supporters fought police and stormed the building.

In the video, an unidentified woman is seen demanding to know when the video was recorded, insisting (correctly) that it was not a live feed; she apparently did not realise it had been released by Donald Trump himself on Twitter just minutes earlier.

John Bowden reports:

New video shows Capitol rioters’ reaction to Trump video in real time

‘I’m not a crazy Republican. I’m a reasonable person'

04:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Brian Dahle, the Republican Party’s longshot hope to unseat Gov. Gavin Newsom in California, knows that to win in his progressive home state he can’t allow Democrats to label him as an election denying, abortion-hating, gun-loving, bombastic right-winger.

It’s why Dahle, an affable farmer and state senator from the sparsely populated northeast corner of the state, goes out of his way to make one thing clear: “I’m not a crazy Republican. I’m a reasonable person.”

Read on:

Newsom's opponent: I'm reasonable, not a 'crazy Republican'

ICYMI: Cheney refuses to rule out 2024 presidential run

03:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Liz Cheney, the vice-chairman of the House January 6 select committee, said during her first sit-down interview since the public hearings kicked off last month that she hasn’t ruled out making a bid for president in 2024.

“I’ll make a decision about ’24 down the road,” the Wyoming Republican said during a pre-recorded interview on ABC’s This Week on Sunday.

Johanna Chisholm reports.

Liz Cheney refuses to rule out presidential run against ‘dangerous’ Trump in 2024

Russian state TV host muses whether Putin should ‘reinstall Trump’

02:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Russian state television propagandist Olga Skabeeva took aim at former president Donald Trump, implying the Russian government may think twice about mounting any campaign to support him should he choose to run in the 2024 presidential election.

Skabeeva made the remarks during a recent edition of her 60 Minutes political talk show, according to a clip with English translations posted to Twitter by Russian media analyst Julia Davis.

Andrew Feinberg reports.

Russian state TV host muses whether Putin should ‘reinstall Trump’

McConnell says Americans aren’t working because they are ‘flush’

02:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Mitch McConnell has claimed that the US labour shortage is due to people unwilling to work because they are “flush at the moment”.

The Republican Senate Minority Leader was speaking at an event in Paducah, Kentucky on Tuesday when he pitched his theory of why businesses are struggling to hire people.

“You’ve got a whole lot of people sitting on the sidelines because, frankly, they’re flush for the moment,” Mr McConnell said. “What we’ve got to hope is once they run out of money, they’ll start concluding it’s better to work than not to work.”

Mitch McConnell says Americans aren’t working because they are ‘flush’ at the moment

Lindsey Graham will not comply with Georgia election probe subpoena

01:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Attorneys for Senator Lindsey Graham say he will not comply with a subpoena issued to him as part of a Fulton County, Georgia grand jury investigation into former president Donald Trump’s push to overturn Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory in the Peach State.

In a statement provided to The Independent, attorneys Bart Daniel and Matt Austin say Fulton County investigators have told them Mr Graham is “simply a witness” and “neither a subject nor target of the investigation” but dismissed the investigation being overseen by Fulton County DA Fani Willis as “all politics”.

Andrew Feinberg has more details.

Senator Lindsey Graham will not comply with subpoena in Georgia election probe

Biden jokes 'Trump calling me’ as phone goes off mid-speech

Thursday 7 July 2022 00:30 , Oliver O'Connell

President Joe Biden was speaking about the next phase of his economic agenda and his American Rescue Plan in Cleveland, Ohio, when a phone rang in the audience.

Gustaf Kilander reports on how the president made light of the moment.

Biden jokes ‘unfortunately that’s probably Trump calling me’ as phone goes off

Ex-Trump White House counsel Pat Cipollone to testify to Jan 6 committee

Wednesday 6 July 2022 23:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Former Trump White House counsel Pat Cipollone will give evidence in closed session before the House January 6 select committee this week, following multiple calls for his testimony from committee members.

Mr Cipollone, who served as former president Donald Trump’s top White House lawyer from 2019 to the end of his term in January 2021, has previously met with the panel on an informal basis, but he has now agreed to a transcribed interview with select committee members and investigators.

Andrew Feinberg has the latest.

Ex-Trump White House counsel Pat Cipollone to testify before January 6 committee

Giuliani says Trump should have pardoned himself

Wednesday 6 July 2022 23:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Disgraced lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who played a key role in the long chain of events leading to the January 6 attack on the Capitol, has mused that Donald Trump should have pardoned himself before leaving office.

Speaking on his personal podcast, Mr Giuliani remarked that it appears the ex-president is likely to face charges because of what has been uncovered by the committee investigating the riot.

Andrew Naughtie reports:

Giuliani says Trump should have pardoned himself before leaving office

Trump teases return of his Boeing 757

Wednesday 6 July 2022 22:51 , Oliver O'Connell

Former President Donald Trump has teased the return of his Boeing 757 on which he campaigned in the 2016 election.

He posted on Truth Social it will be returning to the skies in the Fall of 2022 “or maybe sooner” adding to rumours that he may announce a 2024 run for the presidency sooner than expected.

During my four years in the White House, I didn’t use everybody’s favorite airplane, the Boeing 757 we campaigned on for our big 2016 WIN. Now it has been completely modernized and renovated, and looks GREAT, all done in the Great State of Louisiana, and coming back to the skies in the Fall of 2022, or maybe sooner. Get ready!

He linked to a YouTube clip of the refurbishment of the aircraft.

Opinion: What Donald Trump Jr’s creepy obsession with Amber Heard really tells us

Wednesday 6 July 2022 22:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Kathleen N Walsh writes:

Don Jr. implied he believed Amber Heard back in 2017, when he tweeted about her injuries and referred to Johnny Depp as left-wing. But then his viewpoint changed — and thus began a spiraling obsession with no end in sight.

Inside Donald Trump Jr.’s creepy obsession with Amber Heard

Another former Trump aide to appear at public Jan 6 hearing

Wednesday 6 July 2022 22:00 , Oliver O'Connell

A former Trump White House staffer who resigned after the 6 January riot at the US Capitol is set to testify publicly to the select committee investigating the incident.

Sarah Matthews, who served as deputy press secretary in the later phase of the administration, will reportedly be appearing by agreement at a future hearing after receiving a subpoena, according to CNN.

Ms Matthews has already testified to the committee in a videotaped deposition, part of which was featured at a hearing last month. She has also been an outspoken critic of the Trump team’s conduct leading up to the events of January 6, and spoke out to defend her former colleague Cassidy Hutchinson after the latter’s devastating testimony at a recent televised hearing.

Read more:

Trump press aide who quit after Capitol riot to testify at Jan 6 committee hearing

ICYMI: Trump still trading on supposedly resilient popularity

Wednesday 6 July 2022 21:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump was consistently unpopular with the American people throughout his presidency, but never admitted as much. And based on his activity on Truth Social lately, he is still as fixated as ever on the idea that he is scoring high ratings among the electorate.

This he tried to prove by sharing a month-old piece from CNN.

Maroosha Muzaffar has more.

Donald Trump boasts popularity has gone up since Jan 6 in Truth Social posting frenzy

GOP accuses Jan 6 panel of Watergate-style data grab over fundraising subpoena

Wednesday 6 July 2022 21:00 , Oliver O'Connell

One of the 6 January committee’s most fraught subpoenas is one served to technology company Salesforce, whom it wants to turn over specific information about fundraising emails sent out by the Republican National Committee to supporters after the 2020 election.

The party has been fighting the subpoena in court for some time, claiming in a new filing that it amounts to a shameless violation of political privacy and a “strategic decapitation of its political opponents” on the level of Richard Nixon’s machinations as exposed in the Watergate scandal. The RNC has already lost one legal action on this front, in front of a Trump-appointed judge no less, but it appears to be trying the same arguments again.

The next hearing will focus on how the crowd that attacked the Capitol was assembled, with radicalisation of the Republican grassroots expected to be a key theme.

Adam Kinzinger shares threats phoned into his office

Wednesday 6 July 2022 20:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Illinois Representative Adam Kinzinger’s criticism of former president Donald Trump and his service on the House January 6 select committee have prompted Mr Trump’s supporters to repeatedly call into his office and leave vulgar death threats on the office’s voicemail box.

Mr Kinzinger, an Iraq and Afghanistan veteran who still holds a reserve commission as a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air National Guard, revealed the horrific threats in a compilation of them which he posted to his Twitter account on Tuesday.

“Threats of violence over politics has increased heavily in the last few years. But the darkness has reached new lows,” he wrote, adding that the compilation of threats was put together by the interns who are charged with answering his phones at his Washington, DC office.

One caller gets right to the point, telling the congressman: “I guess I can’t say a whole lot more other than I hope you naturally die as quickly as f***ing possible you f***ing piece of s***”.

Andrew Feinberg has more:

Adam Kinzinger posts video detailing vulgar death threats

At next hearing, focus turns to Trump’s role in gathering Capitol mob

Wednesday 6 July 2022 20:00 , Oliver O'Connell

The Jan 6 committee will meet for its next public hearing a week from Tuesday, lawmakers have announced.

A short notice was posted on Twitter by the panel’s members late Tuesday afternoon. The news comes a week exactly since the last hearing of the riot committee featured the explosive testimony of Cassidy Hutchinson, a high-ranking White House staffer.

The next hearing will focus on Donald Trump and his allies’ role in luring thousands of Mr Trump’s supporters to the nation’s capital for the day of the riot itself, members revealed in interviews over the weekend.

John Bowden reports.

Jan 6 hearing: Next date revealed as focus turns to Trump’s role in assembling mob

ICYMI: Behind the scenes with the Trumps

Wednesday 6 July 2022 19:30 , Oliver O'Connell

A new trailer has been released from the bombshell Jan 6 documentary that has rocked the congressional probe into the Capitol riot.

The footage from Unprecedented reveals the incredible level of access the former first family gave to UK filmmaker Alex Holder.

In the trailer, Ivanka Trump can be seen joking about using a dog to cover her wrinkled dress and her brother Eric is also seen taking a mysterious call. It also features Ivanka’s husband Jared Kushner and older brother Don Jr.

Gustaf Kilander reports.

Ivanka jokes about dress in new Jan 6 documentary trailer

When is the next Jan 6 insurrection committee hearing?

Wednesday 6 July 2022 19:00 , Oliver O'Connell

The House select committee investigating the failed insurrection at the US Capitol on 6 January 2021 initially only planned to hold six public hearings, according to a draft schedule, but has just announced its seventh.

Further sessions became necessary due to the sheer weight of evidence available regarding the deadly attack on the heart of government in Washington, DC, carried out by enraged supporters of Donald Trump attempting to overturn his 2020 presdential election defeat.

When is the next Jan 6 insurrection committee hearing?

Trucker convoy leader arrested along National Mall

Wednesday 6 July 2022 18:30 , Oliver O'Connell

The leader of the trucker convoy that tried and failed multiple times to ensnare traffic around Washington DC was arrested on Wednesday after his group achieved mild success for the very first time.

David “Santa” Riddell was arrested along the National Mall in downtown Washington DC early in the morning on Wednesday. The Daily Beast first reported that he faced two traffic citations as well as one arrestable offense: Failure to obey the commands of a police officer.

John Bowden reports from Washington, DC.

Trucker convoy leader arrested along National Mall in Washington DC

Jan 6 panel member on witness cooperation

Wednesday 6 July 2022 18:00 , Andrew Naughtie

Stephanie Murphy, one of the Democrats on the 6 January panel, gave an interview this morning in which she discussed the difference made by Trump administration witnesses who have decided to put country above party or political imperatives:

Analysis: Why Sarah Matthews’ upcoming appearance matters

Wednesday 6 July 2022 17:30 , Andrew Naughtie

Andrew Feinberg writes that for all the public might not know who she is, Sarah Matthews – like Cassidy Hutchinson before her – is the embodiment of a particular kind of Washington insider that can prove enormously dangerous to a former boss.

If you look at photos of White House meetings, there’s always an outer ring of chairs populated by people who staff the decision-makers — or the principals — seated around the table. People with titles such as Special Assistant and Deputy Assistant and Assistant this-or-that will often circulate between offices while making arrangements and relaying messages between the bold-faced names they serve.

Yet those principals often forget that the young staffers – often no older than their mid-20s – are in the room. The twentysomethings who keep Washington running are often invisible to all but a select few (usually reporters) who know to pay attention.

Read the full analysis below.

The problem Donald Trump didn’t see coming

Caution on Cipollone

Wednesday 6 July 2022 17:00 , Andrew Naughtie

Kyle Cheney points out that it is still unclear just what Pat Cipollone has agreed to offer the Jan 6 committee – and the nature of what they’ve agreed will greatly determine what if anything the public eventually finds out about what he tells them.

Giuliani says Trump should have given himself a pardon

Wednesday 6 July 2022 16:30 , Andrew Naughtie

Rudy Giuliani, who reportedly asked Donald Trump for a pre-emptive pardon after 6 January and is now facing various legal risks, speculated this morning that his former boss might be having an easier time of it today had he issued himself a pardon before leaving office.

Pat Cipollone to give closed-door testimony to Jan 6 panel

Wednesday 6 July 2022 16:06 , Andrew Naughtie

After the Jan 6 committee ramped up its public pressure on him to give testimony, former Trump White House counsel Pat Cipollone has reportedly agreed to talk to the panel – albeit behind closed doors.

His perspective on the days leading up to and including 6 January itself will be crucial because of his direct involvement in helping fend off Mr Trump’s attempt to fully instrumentalise the Justice Department.

Lindsey Graham to defy Georgia subpoena

Wednesday 6 July 2022 15:50 , Andrew Naughtie

Attorneys for Senator Lindsey Graham say he will not comply with a subpoena issued to him as part of a Fulton County, Georgia grand jury investigation into former president Donald Trump’s push to overturn Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory in the Peach State.

In a statement provided to The Independent, attorneys Bart Daniel and Matt Austin say Fulton County investigators have told them Mr Graham is “simply a witness” and “neither a subject nor target of the investigation” but dismissed the investigation being overseen by Fulton County DA Fani Willis as “all politics”.

The attorneys further accused Ms Willis of conducting a “fishing expedition” and “working in concert with the January 6 Committee in Washington”.

“Any information from an interview or deposition with Senator Graham would immediately be shared with the January 6 Committee,” the attorneys said, though they offered no evidence to support their claims.

Andrew Feinberg has the story.

Senator Lindsey Graham will not comply with subpoena in Georgia election probe

Russian TV speculates about Trump returning prematurely

Wednesday 6 July 2022 15:30 , Andrew Naughtie

Russian state television propagandist Olga Skabeeva took aim at former president Donald Trump, implying the Russian government may think twice about mounting any campaign to support him should he choose to run in the 2024 presidential election.

Skabeeva made the remarks during a recent edition of her 60 Minutes political talk show, according to a clip with English translations posted to Twitter by Russian media analyst Julia Davis.

“The other day, Trump promised to destroy the Russian Federation, to destroy Putin’s hegemony, as he put it,” she said.

Andrew Feinberg has more.

Russian state TV host muses whether Putin should ‘reinstall Trump’

Kinzinger pays tribute to Cassidy Hutchinson and other witnesses

Wednesday 6 July 2022 15:00 , Andrew Naughtie

Adam Kinzinger, who yesterday shared a shocking compilation of abusive and threatening voicemails received by his staff, has been singing the praises of Cassidy Hutchinson and other Trump administration veterans who have come forward to tell the Jan 6 committee about what they witnessed during the ex-president’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

Trump real estate firm found in contempt by New York court

Wednesday 6 July 2022 14:30 , Andrew Naughtie

Away from his Jan 6 troubles, Donald Trump is still facing major trouble in the form of the New York Attorney General’s probe into his business dealings.

Now, a real estate firm involved in the case has been held in contempt of court for failing to produce documents subpoenaed in the probe. Cushman & Wakefield will now have to pay a fine of $10,000 a day until it complies with the request.

In characteristic style, Mr Trump has described the probe as a politically motivated witch-hunt and decried Attorney General Letitia James as a “racist”.

Report: House GOP prepares to persecute Jan 6 panel after midterms

Wednesday 6 July 2022 14:00 , Andrew Naughtie

With the Republicans almost certain to take control of the House after this year’s midterm elections, Axios reports that senior right-wing members of key committees are planning a full-on investigation of the Jan 6 committee’s activities in an attempt to discredit the already devastating evidence unearthed.

The site quotes one senior staffer saying that "When Republicans retake the majority, we will exercise our oversight responsibilities including subpoena authority to review all transcripts and information that the committee has access to in order to identify the truth."

Another GOP aide offered this ominous line: “The base is out for blood on subpoenas. A lot of it will just depend on how far McCarthy wants to go.”

Read more below.