Trump news – live: Judge declines request to hold Trump team in contempt over Mar-a-Lago classified documents

A judge has denied a request by Department of Justice prosecutors to hold Donald Trump’s team in contempt of court for not fully complying with a subpoena to return all of the government documents he is accused of illegally keeping after leaving the White House.

Mr Trump’s lawyers claimed in federal court that he has fulfilled subpoena requests to provide papers in his personal possession, while prosecutors say searches carried out on the former president’s behalf have not been satisfactory.

The judge instead urged the two sides to resolve the dispute themselves, sources told ABC News.

It comes as the January 6 select committee is reportedly considering criminal referrals for at least four of Trump’s associates: former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, lawyer John Eastman, former Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani and former Department of Justice official Jeffrey Clark, sources told CNN.

Meanwhile, Trump has hit out at the deal that saw Brittney Griner returned from Russia, complaining that Joe Biden should have sought the release of US Marine Paul Whelan. He did not acknowledge that Whelan was arrested in Russia on his watch, or that he himself failed to act to get him home.

Key points

  • Judge declines DoJ request to hold Trump team in contempt of court, report says

  • Trump’s lacklustre campaign and series of disasters ‘emboldens GOP rivals'

  • More classified documents found in search of Trump storage unit, report says

  • At least four Trump associates may face criminal referrals from January 6 committee

  • How much do Republicans blame Trump for Senate flop?

Judge declines DoJ request to hold Trump team in contempt of court, report says

22:06 , Oliver O'Connell

Per ABC News:

A federal judge in Washington declined to hold Trump or his legal team in contempt of court following a court hearing Friday as the Justice Department had requested, sources familiar with the matter told ABC News.

The judge instead urged the Justice Department and Trump’s legal team to resolve the dispute themselves, the sources said.

DOJ had urged the judge to hold Trump’s team in contempt over failure to fully comply with a May subpoena for documents with classified markings that was directed to Trump’s custodian of records -- a person the Trump legal team has not identified.

The proceedings were under seal and not public.

The Trump campaign didn’t immediately respond to request for comment.

DOJ declined to comment.

Here’s what we knew earlier:

Trump lawyers in court for sealed hearing in Mar-a-Lago case

Trump celebrates being named Man of the Year

22:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump is celebrating being named Man of the Year... 2020... by The Association of Mature American Citizens.

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He was initially awarded the prize in February 2021 based on a vote by the group’s membership but was only presented with it now due to the Covid-19 pandemic. According to a press release, the former president won 80 per cent of the vote.

An excited Mr Trump posted pages and cover art from Amac Magazine to his Truth Social account.

The former president was also presented with an oil painting titled “Saving a Generation”.

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‘Bad candidates with bad messaging'

21:42 , Oliver O'Connell

Republican Governor of New Hampshire Chris Sununu gave his take on why Republicans failed to win back the Senate.

“We had bad candidates with bad messaging that didn’t listen to voters.”

Watch below:

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Evangelicals may be turning away from Trump, but Christian nationalism isn’t going anywhere

21:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Since the heady days of Donald Trump’s first presidential campaign, Caleb Campbell’s congregation has been split in two. The pastor of an evangelical church in the northern suburbs of Phoenix, Arizona, he has watched his flock both energised and repulsed by the real estate tycoon’s political rise.

“When Trump would come to town, we had members of our congregation inside the building for the rally and some outside the building protesting,” he tells The Independent. “I was naive. I remember thinking that obviously people see right through this. I was shocked to discover that most people really earnestly supported not only his policies, but also his cruel and dehumanising rhetoric.”

Read more from The Independent’s Richard Hall.

Evangelicals may be turning away from Trump, but Christian nationalism is on the rise

Jewish Americans confront antisemitism with resolve, worry

21:05 , Oliver O'Connell

Jewish Americans are closely following the recent upsurge in antisemitic rhetoric and actions with a mix of anxiety and resolve — along with a yearning that a broader swath of Americans, including leaders across the political spectrum, speak out against anti-Jewish hatred.

Jewish Americans confront antisemitism with resolve, worry

‘They should be ashamed of themselves’: Trump lashes out at ‘Jewish leaders’ for ‘lack of loyalty’ to him

20:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Former President Donald Trump hit out at “Jewish leaders” for a “lack of loyalty” to him in a post on Truth Social on Friday morning, saying “they should be ashamed of themselves”.

Posting a link to an article in The Gateway Pundit by Wayne Allyn Root, defending him from the outrage sparked by his dinner at Mar-a-Lago with antisemitic rapper Kanye West and white nationalist Nick Fuentes, Mr Trump thanked the author for lauding his record with Israel.

Trump lashes out at ‘Jewish leaders’ for ‘lack of loyalty’ to him

WTO rules against Trump's steel and aluminum tariffs

20:20 , Oliver O'Connell

The World Trade Organization has rejected the 2018 import taxes that then-President Donald Trump imposed on foreign steel and aluminum, saying they violated global trade rules.

Trump’s tariffs of 25% on foreign steel and 10% on aluminum outraged America’s long-standing allies, including the European Union and Japan, because he relied on a little-used provision of U.S. trade law to declare their steel and aluminum a threat to U.S. national security.

China and other trading partners challenged the tariffs at the 164-nation WTO.

Read on:

WTO rules against Trump's steel and aluminum tariffs

Pro-Trump Republican challenger says Jan 6 protesters ‘held in DC gulag’

20:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Former Green Beret Joe Kent is looking to defeat a Republican congresswoman who voted to impeachDonald Trump, terming her and others like her “Republicans in Name Only”, or RINOs.

Andrew Buncombe interviewed Mr Kent for The Independent.

Joe Kent says Jan 6 rioters ‘held in DC gulag and refused rights as US citizens’

Trump’s lacklustre campaign and series of disasters ‘emboldens GOP rivals'

19:30 , Oliver O'Connell

It’s been three weeks featuring one calamity after another since Donald Trump launched his 2024 campaign with an unremarkable speech before a crowd of fans in the ballroom of Mar-a-Lago.

There have been no campaign events, mounting blame for the GOP midterms performance thanks to his candidate picks, and a shocking dinner with antisemitic rapper Kanye West and white nationalist Nick Fuentes.

On top of that, his legal problems continue to escalate, with his company found guilty of tax fraud, and the investigations into the January 6 Capitol riot and Mar-a-Lago classified documents drawing toward potential criminal charges.

“Everybody had this anticipation he’s going to announce,” former New Jersey governor Chris Christie told ABC’s This Week on Sunday. “Nothing has happened since then except bad things for Donald Trump.”

What does this mean for other 2024 hopefuls? Mark Niquette and Bill Allison write in Bloomberg that the former president is finding himself increasingly isolated from fellow Republicans.

“There’s no question that other candidates smell blood in the water, between Trump getting blamed for the midterm results, a less-than-inspiring announcement, and then a huge display of misjudgment shortly thereafter,” Republican strategist Alex Conant told Bloomberg.

Increasingly, more and more Republicans — such as Mr Christie — are speaking out against the former president and calling on the party to move on from him.

GOP Megadonors have also signaled that they are either moving on or waiting to see the full candidate field.

Nevertheless, Mr Trump remains a driving force amongst the party’s base, though donations have slowed — no thanks to the lack of any meaningful campaign push following the announcement that he is running again.

Ron DeSantis, Mike Pence, Nikki Haley, and others are just biding their time before making their own announcements regarding 2024.

Voices: Of course Joe Biden is going to be the Democratic nominee in 2024

19:10 , Oliver O'Connell

Noah Berlatsky writes:

Unless he develops a serious health problem or is hit by a meteor, he’s going to be the next Democratic nominee for president. Moreover, anyone who actually cares about a Democratic victory, or democracy in general, should want Biden to run.

Of course Joe Biden is going to be the Democratic nominee in 2024

John Bolton: Trump turned down Paul Whelan and Viktor Bout prisoner swap

18:49 , Oliver O'Connell

Former National Security Adviser John Bolton has revealed that Donald Trump turned down the chance to secure Paul Whelan’s release two years ago – despite the former president claiming to be outraged over the Biden administration’s deal which freed Brittney Griner but left the US marine in Russian custody.

Rachel Sharp reports.

Trump ‘turned down Paul Whelan and Viktor Bout prisoner swap years ago’

Steve Bannon defends Trump’s call to ignore the US Constitution

18:05 , Graig Graziosi

Steve Bannon, a former strategist for Donald Trump’s campaign, appeared on Real America’s Voice, a right-wing media website, and defended the one-term president’s call for the Constitution to be ignored and for him to be reinstated into the Oval Office.

“The reality is we have a constitutional crisis...because Joe Biden is not legitimate,” Bannon said on a livestream.

Mr Trump, again claiming the 2020 election was stolen from him, said on Truth Social that “a Massive Fraud of this type and magnitude allows for the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution.”

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Christian nationalism on the rise, according to Arizona evangelical pastor who denounced Trump

17:18 , Graig Graziosi

Caleb Campbell, a pastor in Arizona who spoke out against Donald Trump during his tenure, has made it his mission to try to divert Christians away from the dangerous ideology of religious nationalism.

He told The Independent that the rise in Christian nationalism during the Trump years and into today caused a division between Christians.

“Our families were splitting in two. The church was splitting in two. It exposed a huge rift within the church. We had groups of people that would meet in homes that just couldn’t even stomach each other anymore,” he said.

Richard Hall has more in his story. Read it at The Independent below:

Evangelicals may be turning away from Trump, but Christian nationalism is on the rise

Trump continues Truth rampage by retruthing himself

17:05 , Andrew Naughtie

One of Donald Trump’s odder Truth Social behaviours is his periodic habit of re-sharing his own posts only minutes apart accompanied by gnomic comments. This is the sort of morning he appears to be having today:

ICYMI: Rupert Murdoch will sit for Dominion defamation deposition

16:35 , Andrew Naughtie

Fox chairman Rupert Murdoch has been summoned for questioning under oath in the Dominion Voting Systems defamation case against Fox News over its coverage of fraud claims in the 2020 presidential election.

The 91-year-old media tycoon will be deposed next week as part of the election technology company’s $1.6bn defamation suit against his network. Mr Murdoch - head of Fox News’ mammoth parent company News Corp - will become the most high-profile name to be questioned in the case so far.

According to a filing in Delaware’s Superior Court, first reported by The Washington Post, Mr Murdoch’s deposition will take place remotely via videoconference on 13 and 14 December.

The network is alleged to have purposely aired false claims about Dominion’s role in the 2020 presidential election to boost ratings.

Stuti Mishra reports.

Rupert Murdoch to be deposed in $1.6bn Dominion defamation case against Fox News

Jan 6 rioter pleads PTSD and cites shame in

16:00 , Andrew Naughtie

The latest of the hundreds of January 6 rioters being sentenced for attacking the Capitol is army veteran Nicholas Hendrix, who arrived at the Capitol with a flagpole and a sign reading “stop the communist and terrorist revolution”. At his sentencing, he and his lawyers have argued for leniency based both on his remorse about taking part in the event and the psychological effects of his military service:

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Trump blames antisemitism row on “lack of loyalty"

15:18 , Andrew Naughtie

Continuing his angry day on Truth Social, Donald Trump has shared a piece from the far-right Gateway Pundit, a website notorious for promoting extreme false claims, in which right-wing pundit Wayne Allyn Root defends the former president against the criticism he received for meeting with Kanye West despite the disgraced rapper’s recent embrace of open antisemitism.

Mr Root is a longtime conspiracy theorist and Trump fan who among other things hosts a show on an outlet run by unhinged MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell.

Bolton: Trump turned down Whelan prisoner swap opportunity

14:30 , Andrew Naughtie

Former National Security Adviser John Bolton has revealed that Donald Trump turned down the chance to secure Paul Whelan’s release years ago – despite the former president claiming to be outraged over the Biden administration’s deal which freed Brittney Griner but left the US marine still in Russian custody.

Mr Bolton, who was the national security adviser under Mr Trump for 17 months from 2018 to 2019, told CBS that the Trump administration had the opportunity to trade Mr Whelan for convicted arms dealer Viktor Bout in 2018.

“The possibility of a Bout-for-Whelan trade existed back then and it wasn’t made, for very good reasons having to deal with Viktor Bout,” he said.

Rachel Sharp reports.

Trump ‘turned down Paul Whelan and Viktor Bout prisoner swap years ago’

Trump demands Musk release information on decision to ban him from Twitter

14:00 , Andrew Naughtie

As Elon Musk continues his erratic reign at Twitter by allowing the leak of internal messages on sensitive political topics, Donald Trump – who clearly regards the Tesla and SpaceX founder as something of an ally – is demanding he release everything he can about the process that led to the decision to ban the former president from the platform after the January 6 riot:

Mr Musk has lifted the ban precluding Mr Trump from tweeting, but the former president has declined to take advantage of it, presumably because doing so would trivialise Truth Social.

Trump kicks off day with all-caps DoJ rant and demands Mar-a-Lago documents be returned

13:30 , Andrew Naughtie

Donald Trump is awake and truthing, and appears to have picked up on the news that the Department of Justice is seeking to have him and his legal team held in contempt over their alleged noncompliance with subpoenas for government documents in his possession.

He is also falsely claiming that the Mar-a-Lago search by the FBI in August was illegal, and that everything seized should be returned to him:

Jordan disavows “Kanye. Elon. Trump” tweet

13:05 , Andrew Naughtie

Eric Swalwell, a Democratic member of the House Judiciary Committee who has become a fixation of Republican mockery and anger, yesterday called on the panel’s presumptive Republican chair Jim Jordan to condemn a tweet put out by the Republican team reading “Kanye. Elon. Trump” – this before all three men embarked on a spree of behaviour that qualified as appalling even by their standards.

Mr Jordan’s response? To claim the tweet, issued by the verified @GOPJudiciary account, was “that tweet was not our account”.

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Will the Jan 6 panel refer GOP House members to DoJ?

12:41 , Andrew Naughtie

As reports say the January 6 select committee is considering referring key former Trump aides to the Department of Justice for alleged criminal activity, there are also discussions underway about how the panel will handle Republican members of Congress who have also stonewalled its requests for testimony.

Among them is Congressman Jim Jordan, the incoming chair presumptive of the Judiciary Committee – as well as potentially Kevin McCarthy, who is currently embroiled in a desperate effort to lock enough votes to be elected speaker next month.

Mr McCarthy nominated Mr Jordan to the panel when it was set up, but after Nancy Pelosi declined to seat him because he was likely to be a material witness to the inquiry, the minority leader pulled his nominees – paving the way for Ms Pelosi to appoint Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger as the committee’s only two Republican members.

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Brittney Griner release: Trump jumps on Paul Whelan bandwagon

12:03 , Andrew Naughtie

Two years after his term in the White House ended without him mentioning his name, Donald Trump is now claiming the Biden administration’s prisoner swap to return wrongfully detained WNBA star Brittney Griner home is a “stupid” and “totally one-side transaction” because it did not include US Marine Corps veteran Paul Whelan.

Mr Trump, under whose watch Mr Whelan was detained on bogus espionage charges just three days after Christmas in 2018, hit out at the Biden administration’s latest return of an American hostage from abroad on his Truth Social platform, writing: “Why wasn’t former Marine Paul Whelan included in this totally one-sided transaction? He would have been let out for the asking”.

The disgraced ex-president, whose family business was convicted of criminal tax fraud earlier this week, also complained because the deal freed Ms Griner, a basketball player who he baselessly accused of hating the US, for Russian-born arms dealer Viktor Bout.

“What a ‘stupid’ and unpatriotic embarrassment for the USA!!!” he wrote.

Despite Mr Trump’s professed concern for Mr Whelan, he took no action to free him during his time in the White House when he had the power to do so.

Andrew Feinberg reports:

Donald Trump slams Brittney Griner deal after ignoring Paul Whelan for two years

Watch: Trevor Noah rips Donald Trump’s ‘genius’ running of Trump Organization

11:35 , Oliver O'Connell

Trevor Noah pokes fun at Donald Trump’s ‘genius’ running of Trump Organization

DoJ asks judge to hold Trump’s team in contempt over classified documents

11:05 , Andrew Naughtie

The Department of Justice has asked a judge to hold Donald Trump’s team in contempt for failing to comply with a subpoena to return classified documents, according to a report.

Graeme Massie has the story.

Justice Department asks judge to hold Trump’s team in contempt over documents

ICYMI: Trump ridiculed after suffering three major blows in one disaster day

10:35 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump was ridiculed ruthlessly on social media after he suffered three major blows in one disaster of a day.

Here’s what people had to say:

Donald Trump ridiculed after suffering three major blows in one disaster day

Warnock’s win makes it official — Georgia will be a battleground in 2024

09:35 , Oliver O'Connell

Fresh off Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock’s runoff victory, Georgia Democrats are embracing — and Republicans are reluctantly accepting — the state’s transition from GOP stronghold to a premier battleground as the political calendar turns to the 2024 presidential cycle.

Warnock win makes it official: Georgia is a '24 battleground

Rep Gosar deletes tweet endorsing Trump’s call to terminate Constitution

08:35 , Oliver O'Connell

Far-right Republican lawmaker Paul Gosar has deleted a tweet indicating his support for former President Donald Trump’s proposal that the United States terminate its constitution.

Mr Gosar was initially supportive of Mr Trump’s insistence that the Constitution be terminated because Twitter limited the reach of the Hunter Biden “scandal” during the closing stretch of the 2020 presidential election campaign.

It seems he then changed his mind about such a public statement.

Far-right Rep Paul Gosar deletes tweet backing Trump’s call to terminate Constitution

Ivanka Trump’s finances no longer under court supervision... unlike others in her family

07:35 , Oliver O'Connell

Ivanka Trump will no longer have her professional finances overseen by the court-appointed monitor assigned to prevent the Trump Organization from lying to banks or insurance companies or from hiding assets from New York State Attorney General Letitia James while her fraud lawsuit against the ex-president’s eponymous company is before the courts.

According to court documents, Ivanka Trump is now exempt from a 4 November court order enjoining the former president, his family, and his companies from “selling, transferring, or otherwise disposing of any non-cash assets” listed on the “statements of financial condition” in the investigation.

Andrew Feinberg reports.

Ivanka Trump no longer being supervised by monitor overseeing Trump Organization

ICYMI: Trump appears at Mar-a-Lago event with QAnon influencer

06:35 , Oliver O'Connell

A prominent QAnon influencer and Pizzagate conspiracy theorist posed for photos with Donald Trump at his Mar-a-Lago resort following an event at the former president’s Florida compound

Liz Crokin continues to amplify a baseless conspiracy theory that emerged during the 2016 presidential election accusing Democratic officials and other figures of child sexual abuse, a vast online-driven conspiracy movement that fuelled the broader QAnon delusion.

Alex Woodward reports.

Trump appears at Mar-a-Lago event with Pizzagate conspiracy theorist

At least four Trump associates may face criminal referrals from January 6 committee

06:06 , Shweta Sharma

The committee investigating the January 6 insurrection is considering criminal referrals for at least four of former President Donald Trump’s associates, CNN reported on Thursday.

The four individuals potentially in line for criminal referrals are former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, lawyer John Eastman, former Trump lawyer and New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani and former Department of Justice official Jeffrey Clark.

Read the full report.

At least four Trump associates may face criminal referrals from January 6 committee

Kentucky governor criticises Trump, distances self from Biden

05:35 , Oliver O'Connell

Democratic Governor Andy Beshear, of Kentucky, criticised former President Donald Trump for dining with a white nationalist and gently distanced himself from current President Joe Biden as he tries to make his own way in his 2023 bid for reelection in his Republican-dominated state.

Read on:

Kentucky Gov. Beshear criticizes Trump, gently knocks Biden

Flynn testifies in Georgia election probe

04:35 , Oliver O'Connell

Former national security adviser Michael Flynn was at a downtown Atlanta courthouse Thursday to testify before a special grand jury that’s investigating whether then-President Donald Trump and others illegally tried to influence the 2020 election in Georgia.

Flynn, a retired lieutenant general, had tried to get out of appearing before the panel.

Read on:

Michael Flynn testifies in Georgia election probe

Here’s why Paul Whelan is detained in Russia

03:35 , Oliver O'Connell

President Joe Biden said his administration would “never give up” trying to free other Americans who have been wrongfully detained by Russia, including former US Marine Paul Whelan, who has been in Russian custody since he was arrested just after Christmas in 2018 on what American officials have described as bogus spying charges.

Joe Sommerlad explains what Mr Whelan is accused of doing.

Why is US Marine Paul Whelan detained in Russia?

Trump, who ignored Paul Whelan for two years, calls Griner deal ‘stupid’

02:35 , Oliver O'Connell

Two years after his term in the White House ended without him mentioning his name, Donald Trump is now claiming the Biden administration’s prisoner swap to return wrongfully detained WNBA star Brittney Griner home is a “stupid” and “totally one-side transaction” because it did not include US Marine Corps veteran Paul Whelan.

Andrew Feinberg reports.

Donald Trump slams Brittney Griner deal after ignoring Paul Whelan for two years

Ex-anti-abortion lobbyist tells House committee of ‘stealth missionaries’ at Supreme Court

01:35 , Oliver O'Connell

An Evangelical minister and former longtime anti-abortion activist told members of Congress that he helped recruit wealthy conservative donors to serve as “stealth missionaries” at the US Supreme Court, where they developed friendships with conservative justices that aligned with the group’s “social and religious” views.

Alex Woodward reports.

Minister testifies to Congress about ‘stealth’ campaign to influence Supreme Court

ICYMI: Trump Organization found guilty of criminal tax fraud

00:35 , Oliver O'Connell

A New York City jury has convicted two subsidiaries of former president Donald Trump’s eponymous real estate and licensing company, the Trump Organization, on charges stemming from what prosecutors described as a sweeping, multi-decade scheme to avoid paying payroll taxes by compensating top executives with untaxed benefits such as housing and automobiles.

Jurors rendered a guilty verdict on all of the charges included in an indictment filed last year against the Trump Corporation, the Trump Payroll Corporation, and the Trump Organization’s long-time chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg.

Andrew Feinberg reports on the verdict.

Trump Organization found guilty on criminal tax fraud charges

Will Trump still hold sway over GOP primaries?

Thursday 8 December 2022 23:35 , Oliver O'Connell

With Donald Trump facing blame for some of the Republican Party’s midterm shortcomings, former Senate candidate David McCormick, who lost his primary in Pennsylvania to Trump-backed Dr Mehmet Oz, is considering running again.

Going forward, will the former president be able to hold sway over candidate selections in primaries the way he has in this past election cycle?

Trump blowback could carry less bite in 2024 for some in GOP

Jim Jordan challenged over ‘Kanye. Elon. Trump.’ tweet

Thursday 8 December 2022 23:05 , Oliver O'Connell

Eric Swalwell called out Jim Jordan during a House Judiciary Committee hearing, asking him whether he will denounce Trump’s meeting with Kanye West and Nick Fuentes.

Mr Jordan said of Trump that “there’s no way this guy’s antisemitic” and claimed he is “the most pro-Israel president in history.”

When asked about the House Judiciary GOP Twitter post (“Kanye. Elon. Trump”), Mr Jordan claimed “that tweet was not our account and that tweet has been deleted.”

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Mar-a-Lago papers: ‘Outside firm’ found more classified documents in Trump storage unit

Thursday 8 December 2022 22:50 , Oliver O'Connell

A search of former president Donald Trump’s properties by a third-party firm retained by his legal team reportedly discovered at least two documents bearing classification markings in a storage unit in West Palm Beach, Florida used by the twice-impeached ex-president.

According to The Washington Post, Mr Trump’s team engaged the outside firm to search the ex-president’s properties — including his New Jersey and Manhattan residences for classified documents — after a federal judge ordered them to certify that he had complied with a grand jury subpoena to produce any such material in his possession.

Andrew Feinberg reports.

Search by ‘outside firm’ found more classified documents in Trump storage unit

DoJ asks judge to hold Trump’s team in contempt over classified documents

Thursday 8 December 2022 22:30 , Oliver O'Connell

The Department of Justice has asked a judge to hold Donald Trump’s team in contempt for failing to comply with a subpoena to return classified documents, according to a report.

Graeme Massie has the story.

Justice Department asks judge to hold Trump’s team in contempt over documents

‘Greed and cheating’ and expanding criminal probes target former president

Thursday 8 December 2022 22:05 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump has spent decades trying to avoid criminal attachments, accusing his political enemies of launching spurious investigations despite a growing list of credible accusations of wrongdoing.

Are the former president’s actions finally catching up with him?

Alex Woodward reports.

Trump faces ‘greed and cheating’ convictions and expanding criminal probes

DoJ urges judge to hold Trump lawyers in contempt over Mar-a-Lago papers case

Thursday 8 December 2022 21:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Justice Department lawyers have urged a federal judge to hold Donald Trump’s legal team in contempt of court for not fully complying with a May subpoena to return all classified documents in his possession, The Washington Post reports citing people familiar with the matter.

The paper says it is a sign of how contentious the private talks between the two sides have become over whether the former president still holds any secret papers.

Prosecutors have put the request to US District Court Judge Beryl Howell, who had not yet held a hearing or ruled on it.

No plan for Trump team to appeal Mar-a-Lago special master ruling to Supreme Court

Thursday 8 December 2022 21:30 , Oliver O'Connell

CNN reports that former President Donald Trump does not plan to appeal to the Supreme Court a lower court order that put an end to the special master review of the documents seized from his Mar-a-Lago estate.

The network cites a source familiar with the matter.

A week ago a federal appeals court ended an independent review of the classified materials by the special master, which the Justice Department said was delaying its criminal investigation into the matter.

Mr Trump’s legal team had until today to appeal the decision to the nation’s highest court.

The Justice Department should now be able to proceed with its investigation.

Trump, who ignored Whelan for two years, says deal to return Griner to US was ‘stupid’

Thursday 8 December 2022 21:20 , Oliver O'Connell

Two years after his term in the White House ended without him mentioning his name, Donald Trump is now claiming the Biden administration’s prisoner swap to return wrongfully detained WNBA star Brittney Griner home is a ‘stupid’ and ‘totally one-side transaction’ because it did not include US Marine Corps veteran Paul Whelan.

Andrew Feinberg has the full story.

Donald Trump slams Brittney Griner deal after ignoring Paul Whelan for two years

Conservatives angered by continued Whelan detention as Biden negotiates Griner release

Thursday 8 December 2022 21:05 , Oliver O'Connell

Russia has agreed to release former WNBA player Brittney Griner in a prisoner swap with the US. While Griner’s fans and loved ones are celebrating, there are some people who are upset by the developments, and they all just so happen to ideologically oppose Joe Biden.

Republicans — both lawmakers and media figures — took to social media to explain why Griner’s release was either unfair or a grave mistake.

Graig Graziosi reports.

Conservatives blast Biden over Brittney Griner release

Latest polling has DeSantis closing on Trump, but Biden holding up in one-on-one

Thursday 8 December 2022 20:49 , Oliver O'Connell

The latest YouGov/Yahoo 2024 Republican Party primary test of nine prospective candidates is out with polling percentages as follows:

Trump — 35

DeSantis — 30

Not sure — 12

Haley — 5

Pence — 5

Youngkin, Christie, Cheney, Pompeo — 2

Hogan — 1

In a head-to-head against President Joe Biden, the incumbent beats Trump 45 per cent to 42 per cent and ties with DeSantis.

The survey was conducted between 1-5 December and 1,635 adults were questioned.

Full results of the poll can be seen here.

Flynn testifies in Georgia election probe

Thursday 8 December 2022 20:28 , Oliver O'Connell

Former national security adviser Michael Flynn appeared at a downtown Atlanta courthouse today to testify before a special grand jury that’s investigating whether then-President Donald Trump and his allies illegally tried to influence the 2020 election in the state of Georgia.

Michael Flynn testifies in Georgia election probe

Trump hits out at ‘stupid’ and ‘unpatriotic’ Griner prisoner swap

Thursday 8 December 2022 20:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Former President Donald Trump has lashed out at the prisoner swap agreement that saw WNBA star Brittney Griner released from Russia in exchange for arms dealer Viktor Bout.

Mr Trump posted: “What kind of a deal is it to swap Brittney Griner, a basketball player who openly hates our Country, for the man known as “The Merchant of Death,” who is one of the biggest arms dealers anywhere in the World, and responsible for tens of thousands of deaths and horrific injuries. Why wasn’t former Marine Paul Whelan included in this totally one-sided transaction? He would have been let out for the asking. What a “stupid” and unpatriotic embarrassment for the USA!!!”

Mr Whelan was accused of spying and arrested in Russia in December 2018. He was sentenced to 16 years in prison in June 2020 — during the Trump administration.

Unlike her brothers and father, Ivanka Trump’s finances no longer under court supervision

Thursday 8 December 2022 20:05 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump’s eldest daughter will no longer have her professional finances overseen by the court-appointed monitor assigned to prevent the Trump Organization from lying to banks or insurance companies or from hiding assets from New York State Attorney General Letitia James while her fraud lawsuit against the ex-president’s eponymous company is before the courts.

According to court documents, Ivanka Trump is now exempt from a 4 November court order enjoining the former president, his family, and his companies from “selling, transferring, or otherwise disposing of any non-cash assets” listed on the “statements of financial condition” that have been a focus of Ms James’ investigation and requiring a court-appointed monitor to ensure that any financial statements or valuations of assets submitted by the company are accurate.

Andrew Feinberg has the details.

Ivanka Trump no longer being supervised by monitor overseeing Trump Organization

Watch: Trevor Noah pokes fun at Donald Trump’s ‘genius’ running of Trump Organization

Thursday 8 December 2022 19:35 , Oliver O'Connell

Trevor Noah pokes fun at Donald Trump’s ‘genius’ running of Trump Organization

Jan 6 committee to meet on Sunday about criminal referrals

Thursday 8 December 2022 19:16 , Oliver O'Connell

January 6 committee chair Bennie Thompson says the panel plans to meet on Sunday to discuss criminal referrals.

There will be no announcement regarding who will be the subject of the referrals until the next hearing when they release their final report.

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After Warnock win, Georgia becomes a 2024 battleground

Thursday 8 December 2022 19:05 , Oliver O'Connell

Fresh off Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock’s runoff victory, Georgia Democrats are embracing — and Republicans are reluctantly accepting — the state’s transition from GOP stronghold to a premier battleground as the political calendar turns to the 2024 presidential cycle.

Read more:

Warnock win makes it official: Georgia is a '24 battleground

ICYMI: Rep Gosar deletes tweet endorsing Trump’s call to terminate Constitution

Thursday 8 December 2022 18:35 , Oliver O'Connell

Far-right Republican lawmaker Paul Gosar has deleted a tweet indicating his support for former President Donald Trump’s proposal that the United States terminate its constitution.

Mr Gosar was initially supportive of Mr Trump’s insistence that the Constitution be terminated because Twitter limited the reach of the Hunter Biden “scandal” during the closing stretch of the 2020 presidential election campaign.

Abe Asher reports on how the lawmaker then appeared to change his mind.

Far-right Rep Paul Gosar deletes tweet backing Trump’s call to terminate Constitution

Don Jr launches attack on Biden over Brittney Griner release

Thursday 8 December 2022 18:05 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump Jr whined about the deal to swap WNBA star Brittney Griner for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout in a series of posts on Twitter on Thursday morning, repeating some of his father Donald Trump’s favourite talking points about Mr Biden’s negotiating skills.

Bevan Hurley reports.

Donald Trump Jr launches frenzied attack on Biden over Brittney Griner release

What the Georgia Senate result means for Trump

Thursday 8 December 2022 17:35 , Oliver O'Connell

As another Trump pick for the Senate fails to win, Sean O’Grady looks at what this might mean for the former president going forward.

What the Georgia Senate result means for the Democrats – and Donald Trump

Trump lawyer confirms she’ll represent him in rape lawsuit

Thursday 8 December 2022 16:58 , Andrew Naughtie

Donald Trump is facing a new lawsuit from E. Jean Carroll, a writer who has long accused him of assaulting and raping her in a Manhattan department store in the 1990s, as well as of defaming her by claiming she is a “con job” who has made the allegation up.

With court proceedings on the way, a judge warned Mr Trump and his legal team that they needed to clarify which of his motley crew of variously well-known attorneys would actually be representing him in the case. And now, at last, it’s clear who will be stepping up to the plate: Alina Habba, who has become a key figure in the Mar-a-Lago documents saga thanks to her many public statements about the Department of Justice’s investigation into Mr Trump’s hoarding of documents.

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While the statute of limitations on the alleged incident has expired, a new law in effect in New York state means that people who did not or could not file lawsuits over alleged abuse now have a chance to do so whenever they say it occurred. Ms Carroll availed herself of the law as soon as it kicked in.

Read more on Ms Carroll’s court action below.

E Jean Carroll files new rape lawsuit against Trump under NY’s Adult Survivors Act

Date of final Jan 6 report revealed

Thursday 8 December 2022 16:35 , Andrew Naughtie

Donald Trump and his allies will receive an unhappy Christmas gift in the form of the January 6 committee’s final report, which chair Bennie Thompson has confirmed will be released on 21 December.

Mr Thompson’s committee colleague Zoe Lofgren recently confirmed that the panel will be releasing “everything”, meaning transcripts of its 1,000-plus witness interviews as well as other evidence, and that in the interests of transparency and public trust, it will be doing so at the same time as it transmits that evidence to the Department of Justice.

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Read more:

January 6 panel to release all evidence and transcripts alongside final report

ICYMI: Trump hosts QAnon influencer at Mar-a-Lago

Thursday 8 December 2022 15:59 , Andrew Naughtie

A prominent QAnon influencer and Pizzagate conspiracy theorist posed for photos with Donald Trump at his Mar-a-Lago resort following an event at the former president’s Florida compound

Liz Crokin continues to amplify a baseless conspiracy theory that emerged during the 2016 presidential election accusing Democratic officials and other figures of child sexual abuse, a vast online-driven conspiracy movement that fuelled the broader QAnon delusion.

“Tonight I had the privilege and honor to speak at America’s Future fundraiser to combat child trafficking at Mar-A-Lago,” Ms Crokin wrote in a post on her social media platforms with photos and videos of the event.

She said she discussed “Pizzagate, Balenciaga and what President Trump’s Administration did to combat human trafficking” during the event.

Read more from Alex Woodward.

Trump appears at Mar-a-Lago event with Pizzagate conspiracy theorist

Twitter reinstates notorious racist with Trumpworld ties

Thursday 8 December 2022 15:20 , Andrew Naughtie

Elon Musk’s Twitter continues to reopen its doors to some of the most notorious bigots who’ve previously been locked out of the platform, and the latest to be permitted back into their account is Laura Loomer, an Islamophobic extremist known for campaigning via attention-grabbing public stunts such as interrupting a congressional hearing.

But as writer Arieh Kovler points out, Ms Loomer is more than just a garden-variety troll: as well as being an associate of Nick Fuentes, whom Kanye West recently took to dinner with Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago, she has also modulated her views to keep pace with the shifting obsessions of the far right.

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Ms Loomer’s return comes just as Roger Stone, one of the most infamous figures on the American right, has also been allowed back on the platform. Josh Marcus reports.

Roger Stone claims he’s a ‘different man’ as Elon Musk welcomes him back to Twitter