Trump news – live: Ex-president announces Texas rally as Katko becomes third GOP impeachment rep to retire

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  • Donald Trump
    Donald Trump
    45th President of the United States
  • Joe Biden
    Joe Biden
    46th and current president of the United States
  • Kevin McCarthy
    Kevin McCarthy
    American politician

Former President Donald Trump has announced a second rally this month, with meetings planned on Saturday in Arizona and on 29 January in Texas.

Mr Trump released a statement earlier celebrating that Rep John Katko of New York has become the third Republican lawmaker that voted for his impeachment who has announced that he will not run again.

Meanwhile, the sprawling effort to bring the 6 January rioters to justice has crossed a new rubicon with prosecutors bringing charges of “seditious conspiracy” against the leader of the Oath Keepers, a self-styled militia who joined the insurrection. Elmer Stewart Rhodes has been arrested and charged along with 10 other members of the group, who stand accused of plotting to “oppose the lawful transfer of power by force”.

As for the investigation on Capitol Hill, House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy has refused to provide the 6 January committee with information about his conversations with Mr Trump during the attack last year, calling the panel “illegitimate”. Liz Cheney, one of the committee’s only two Republicans, said Mr McCarthy is attempting to “cover-up” what happened, and that the committee would evaluate other options for obtaining his testimony. “I wish that he were a brave and honorable man,” she told CNN.

Joe Biden, meanwhile, has faced an abject week in Congress – and it seems his popularity is suffering badly. According to FiveThirtyEight, in the annals of the modern presidency, only Donald Trump had a lower approval rating at this point in his term.

Follow live updates below

Key points

  • Biden’s approval ratings now as low as Trump's

  • First sedition charges handed down in Capitol riot cases

  • Poll finds wide majority fears political instability, collapse of American democracy

  • January 6 committee subpoenas Kevin McCarthy

Oath Keeper lawyer says client believed Trump would activate them as ‘militia under the insurrection act’

21:08 , Oliver O'Connell

The lawyer for Stewart Rhodes, the leader of the Oath Keepers charged with seditious conspiracy, spoke with CNN’s Brianna Keilar on Friday morning

Attorney Jon Moseley said that the group’s planning “was about their fanciful idea that ... Trump was going to activate them as a militia under the insurrection act”.

Ms Keilar asked how Mr Moseley plans to defend his clients against conspiracy charges when the government has copious evidence that they planned a violent attack, including a stockpile of weapons in hotel rooms in Virginia, and Signal messages anticipating a “bloody fight”.

“Tell me how you defend against this,” she asked.

The interview was described as “extremely ill-advised” by Above the Law, and flagged up by lawyer George Conway simply with the word “Yikes”.

ICYMI: Jan 6th committee subpoenas records from Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Reddit

20:48 , Oliver O'Connell

The House select committee investigating the 6 January insurrection has issued subpoenas to Twitter, Reddit, and the parent companies of YouTube and Facebook for information “relating to the spread of misinformation, efforts to overturn the 2020 election, domestic violent extremism, and foreign influence in the 2020 election” after the companies spurned prior voluntary requests.

Andrew Feinberg reports.

January 6th committee subpoenas records from Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Reddit

Trump to hold Texas rally on Jan 29

20:31 , Oliver O'Connell

Former President Donald Trump will hold a rally in Conroe, Texas on 29 January. He already has a rally scheduled for Saturday in Florence, Arizona.

An advisor has said he plans to hold about two rallies per month leading up to the 2022 mid-term elections.

Proud Boys leader freed from jail after serving time for burning banner at Black church

20:28 , Oliver O'Connell

A leader of the right-wing Proud Boys group, Enrique Tarrio, was released from jail on Friday after serving four months and a week for burning a Black Lives Matter banner at a historic African American church in Washington in December 2020.

Tarrio was among a group of Proud Boys who stole the banner during a demonstration in Washington on December 12, 2020. Tarrio then set it on fire, according to comments he made afterward. He pled guilty in July, was sentenced in August and began serving his jail sentence in September.

Tarrio did not take part in the deadly January. 6, 2021 riots at the US Capitol. He was arrested when he arrived in Washington two days before the failed bid to prevent Congress’ certification of Democrat Joe Biden’s November 2020 election win over then-President Donald Trump, a Republican.

The FBI has said his January 2021 arrest was to try to pre-empt the events of January 6 when several other members of the Proud Boys were taken into custody.

Those members of the right-wing group face charges including obstruction of law enforcement, destruction of government property, and conspiracy.

Reuters

Michael Avenatti suing over solitary confinement with Trump book

20:19 , Oliver O'Connell

Michael Avenatti is suing the US government under claims that he suffered brutal treatment in jail, including only being allowed Donald Trump’s book The Art of the Deal to read.

Avenatti, 50, is seeking $94m in compensation under the Federal Tort Claims Act. $1m for each day he was in solitary confinement.

Jade Bremner reports.

Michael Avenatti sues for $94m claiming he’s been tormented by Trump’s book in jail

Texas attorney general must hand over Jan 6 texts

19:59 , Oliver O'Connell

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has been given four days to hand over his digital communications from 6 January or face a lawsuit, the Travis County district attorney has stated.

Mr Paxton spoke at the pro-Trump rally ahead of the US Capitol attack and aided Donald Trump in his efforts to overturn the result of the 2020 election.

Jade Bremner reports.

Texas Attorney General given four days to hand over Jan 6 texts

‘He is a dangerous man'

19:40 , Oliver O'Connell

Tasha Adams, the ex-wife of Stewart Rhodes, leader of the Oath Keeper, spoke with CNN this morning and called him a ‘dangerous man’.

Mr Rhodes has been indicted by the Department of Justice on charges of seditious conspiracy for his role in the January 6 Capitol riot.

Daily Show: RIP ‘no sedition charges'

19:20 , Oliver O'Connell

ICYMI: Oath Keepers leader arrested and charged for role in Jan 6 riot

19:01 , Oliver O'Connell

Elmer Stewart Rhodes, the founder of the right-wing militia group known as the Oath Keepers, has been arrested and charged with seditious conspiracy for his role in the 6 January attack on the US Capitol, according to the Department of Justice.

Andrew Feinberg reports from Washington, DC.

Oath Keepers leader arrested and charged for role in Jan 6 riot

Ohio Supreme Court rejects GOP-drawn congressional map

18:46 , Oliver O'Connell

The Ohio Supreme Court rejected a new map of state congressional districts Friday as gerrymandered, sending the blueprint back for another try.

In the 4-3 decision, justices returned the map to the powerful Ohio Redistricting Commission, or its map-drawing counterparts in the Legislature, and said they must assure the next plan actually complies with the Ohio Constitution.

Three of seven justices — including Justice Pat DeWine, son of Republican Gov. Mike DeWine, a named plaintiff in the cases — dissented.

AP

Covid death toll under Biden soon to eclipse those lost under Trump

18:26 , Oliver O'Connell

The death toll from Covid-19 during the presidency of Joe Biden will soon overtake the number of people who died from the illness while Donald Trump was in the White House.

The number of dead Americans from Covid-19 had surpassed 846,000 on Friday. During Mr Trump’s last 10 months in office, 425,000 people died from Covid-19. During Mr Biden’s leadership, 421,000 people have died.

Gustaf Kilander reports.

Covid death toll under Biden will soon overtake number dead under Trump

What would America look like after secession?

18:02 , Oliver O'Connell

It could look pretty good for Democrats, writes Benedict Cosgrove.

Republicans are flirting with secession. That might be a good idea — for Democrats

Trump celebrates Katko not running again

17:53 , Oliver O'Connell

The former president told supporters: “Great news, another one bites the dust. Katko, from Upstate New York, is gone!”

McCarthy says Trump has responsibility for Jan 6 in audio clip

17:50 , Oliver O'Connell

This audio clip has come back to haunt Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

In it, he says Donald Trump has responsibility for the January 6th riot and admitted as much. He also strongly urges a commission investigates the attack on the US Capitol.

On Thursday he said he didn’t remember telling lawmakers that the former president took responsibility.

Third House Republican who voted to impeach Trump won’t run again

17:35 , Oliver O'Connell

John Katko of New York has become the third House Republican that voted to impeach former-President Donald Trump to announce he will not run for reelection this year.

“My conscience, principles, and commitment to do what’s right have guided every decision I’ve made as a Member of Congress, and they guide my decision today.”

He’s the ranking member of the Homeland Security Committee, in line to be chairman were the House to flip from the Democrats to the GOP. He also voted for the infrastructure bill.

Given the nature of his Democrat-leaning district, it may be tough for a Republican to win it again without a moderate running.

A look at the fake 2020 election documents created by state Republicans

17:10 , Andrew Naughtie

CNN’s Marshall Cohen has pulled together screenshots from the false documents claiming that Biden-voting states were in fact sending pro-Trump electors to Washington, DC after the 2020 election.

Michigan Republicans in trouble over challenge to election results

16:52 , Andrew Naughtie

One of the myriad tactics used by Trump supporters after the 2020 election was the submission of fake documents purporting to award their states’ electoral votes to Donald Trump instead of Joe Biden – and now, more than a year later, some of those who tried it could soon be held to account.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said yesterday that under state law, the creation and submission of the document signed by 16 state Republicans could constitute “forgery of a public record, which is a 14-year offence, and election law forgery, which is a five-year offence”.

Andrew Feinberg has the story:

Michigan Republicans could face federal charges for fake electoral certificates

Trump clan tout prospect of a 2024 comeback – against Hillary Clinton

16:30 , Andrew Naughtie

As the tectonic plates of a Trump re-election campaign continue to shift, the ex-president’s daughter-in-law Lara took to Fox & Friends to suggest that if Hillary Clinton ran for president again in 2024, she would lose to her onetime rival again.

“It turns out that people didn't like her ideas as much as Donald Trump's,” Ms Trump said of the 2016 outcome. “and now that we have had a Trump presidency, should it be Hillary versus Trump again? I don't think it is even a question. People are desperate to get Donald Trump back in office.”

Contrary to Ms Trump’s analysis, the electorate in fact voted for Ms Clinton by a margin of nearly 3 million; Mr Trump defeated her by fewer than 100,000 votes combined in the electoral college. The idea she might run again has been floated by various commentators in recent days, but as Eric Garcia writes, “there are many reasons to not take this argument seriously”.

No, Hillary Clinton is not running for president again

Texas GOP official in hot water over Capitol riot texts

16:03 , Andrew Naughtie

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who spoke at a rally on 6 January in advance of the attack on the Capitol, has been given four days to hand over his digital communications from the day or face a lawsuit.

The complaint against him claims that he has failed to comply with the Texas Public Information Act, which subjects his official communications to public release.

Jade Bremner has the story:

Texas Attorney General given four days to hand over Jan 6 texts

15:37 , Andrew Naughtie

The Bulwark’s Amanda Carpenter, a former Ted Cruz aide turned merciless Trump critic, writes that the sedition charges brought against members of the Oath Keepers are a major blow to one of the key right-wing lines on the Capitol attack – that the lack of sedition or insurrection charges proved there was nothing there.

On the contrary, she writes, the indictment against the Oath Keepers “describes a series of very disturbing actions by people who had carefully laid plans for war”.

Read more below:

Can the Democrats hold the Senate?

15:15 , Andrew Naughtie

The Independent’s Eric Garcia foresees trouble for the Democrats’ wafer-thin majority in the upper chamber of Congress:

Proud Boy charged with 6 January offences cries in court as judge revokes his pretrial release

14:55 , Andrew Naughtie

Law & Crime reports on the case against Joshua Pruitt, a Proud Boy who was captured on video inside the Capitol on 6 January. Having repeatedly violated conditions of a court-ordered curfew while under an eight-count indictment.

The article quotes him making tearful statements at the hearing:

“I’m sorry,” Pruitt began, audibly crying as he spoke. “I went through hell over the last year.” Pruitt described being fired from one job, and said that on at least one occasion he couldn’t make it back home due to a snow storm.

“I’m trying to do things right,” he told [US District Judge Timothy] Kelly. “But I’m being attacked left and right. I get death threats all the time. This is what I’m dealing with right now. I get lied about in the media, I’m working with lawyers to work on that.”

Read more here:

Trump enemy’s name circulates in Senate race speculation

14:29 , Andrew Naughtie

One of the handful of senior Republicans to stand up to Donald Trump after the 2020 election was Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, who rejected the baseless claim that his state’s vote was deliberately manipulated in favour of Joe Biden.

While Mr Ducey has previously said he is not considering a run for another office, a report in Politico has stoked speculation that he could run enter the Republican Senate primary to challenge Democrat Mark Kelly this November. That would throw a major curveball into the Arizona election itself and the national Senate game more widely – but reaction to the story has been mixed.

Congressman who tweeted Nazi-vaccine comparison loses press aide

14:05 , Andrew Naughtie

According to Capitol Hill reporter Taylor Popielarz, Congressman Warren Davidson has lost his communications director over a tweet from his office’s official account that compared vaccine mandates to policies enacted by the Nazi Party.

After a public outcry, the congressman has since apologised for drawing the parallel.

Lawyer for Oath Keepers leader rants about “the Left’s REICHSTAG FIRE”

13:45 , Andrew Naughtie

Jonathon Moseley, an attorney for indicted Oath Keepers leader Steward Rhodes, has been tweeting furiously since his client was indicted on sedition charges – claiming, among other things, that 6 January investigators are mounting a “malicious prosecution”, that “January 6 was the Left’s REICHSTAG FIRE”, and that “We know that prosecutors know that we know that they are lying”.

Earlier this week, he also tweeted at Fox News’s Tucker Carlson to pitch a Rhodes interview for the host’s show.

How unpopular is Joe Biden?

13:16 , Andrew Naughtie

According to political analysis site FiveThirtyEight, Joe Biden’s first year has seen his popularity plummet to alarmingly low levels. So poor is the president’s polling, write Geoffrey Skelley and Jean Yi, that he is approaching the record nadir set by Donald Trump.

The real significance of the Oath Keepers indictment

12:51 , Andrew Naughtie

Speaking on the sedition charges brought against the leader of the Oath Keepers over the 6 January riot, former FBI assistant director Frank Figliuzzi last night pointed out that “seditious conspiracy” has not been successfully charged by the US since the mid-1990s. “We charge seditious conspiracy against international terrorists trying to blow us up,” he said to MSNBC’s Nicole Wallace, “and now we’re doing it against our own.”

He also pointed out that the Oath Keepers’ membership includes many retired and active US law enforcement and military personnel.

Watch below:

Social media and the insurrection

12:28 , Andrew Naughtie

Since the rise of Donald Trump as a political force, social media giants have been under increasing pressure for hosting misinformation and incitements to political violence – and now, the 6 January committee has subpoenaed records from YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Reddit to try and understand “what steps – if any – social media companies took to prevent their platforms from being breeding grounds for radicalizing people to violence”.

Donald Trump himself was banned from Twitter and Facebook after the riot, radically limiting his ability to communicate directly with supporters.

Andrew Feinberg has more:

January 6th committee subpoenas records from Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Reddit

ICYMI: Biden overshoots on what’s possible in divided DC - Analysis

12:00 , Andrew Naughtie

He was supposed to break through the congressional logjam. End the pandemic. Get the economy back on track.

Days before he hits his one-year mark in office, a torrent of bad news is gnawing at the foundational rationale of President Joe Biden’s presidency: that he could get the job done.

Read the latest analysis from the Associated Press:

Analysis: Biden overshoots on what's possible in divided DC

Trump says Biden has ‘failed miserably’ following vaccine mandate decision

11:20 , Ella Glover

Donald Trump heralded the Supreme Court’s decision to block the Biden administration’s plan for a vaccine mandate for large businesses.

In a statement released through his spokesperson, the former president called the proposed mandate “unconstitutional”.

He said:

The Supreme Court has spoken, confirming what we all knew: Biden’s disastrous mandates are unconstitutional.

Biden promised to shut down the virus, not the economy but he has failed miserably on both — and mandates would have further destroyed the economy.

We are proud of the Supreme Court for not backing down. No mandates!

Rabbi charged in Capitol riot wants to pay $50 to avoid jail time

10:23 , Ella Glover

A Messianic rabbi who is among the hundreds charged in the Capitol riot has argued that he should be allowed to pay a fine of $50 (£36) and not be sent to jail.

Rabbi Michael Stepakoff, who took a selfie inside the Capitol on the day of the riot, is accused of entering and remaining and carrying out disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building.

He is also charged with violent entry and disorderly conduct and parading, demonstration or picketing in the Capitol building.

Arpan Rai reports:

Rabbi charged in Capitol riot wants to pay $50 to avoid jail time

Biden loses hope over elections and voting rights legislation

09:33 , Ella Glover

President Joe Biden appeared to concede defeat over the Democrats’ elections and voting rights legislation package that would see the biggest overhaul of US elections in a generation, AP reported.

“The honest to God answer is I don’t know whether we can get this done,” Biden said following a closed-door meeting with Democratic senators.

However, he added: “As long as I’m in the White House, as long as I’m engaged at all, I’m going to be fighting.”

But their efforts have stalled in the narrowly divided senate, where they lack the 60 votes out of 100 needed to overcome a Republican filibuster.

The legislation would aim to counteract a number of new state laws, inspired by former president Donald Trump‘s false claims of a stolen election, that have made it harder to vote.

However, pushing it through the senate has proved difficult as Democrats lack the 60 votes out of 100 needed to overcome a Republican filibuster.

Accused Capitol rioter rapped about January 6 on YouTube, FBI says

07:45 , Shweta Sharma

A South Dakota man accused of taking part in the 2021 Capitol riot rapped about the insurrection on YouTube, federal agents say.

According to a criminal complaint, Billy Knutson, 36, posted photos of himself outside the Capitol on the day of the attack. A relative of his told the FBI about the photos, and a second source showed them a video that allegedly showed Mr Knutson climbing into the Capitol Building through a broken window.

Nathan Place has details here:

Accused Capitol rioter rapped about January 6 on YouTube, FBI says

Capitol rioter lashes and storms out of hearing after judge orders

07:15 , Shweta Sharma

Tim Boughner, 41, from Michigan who is accused of assaulting a Capitol officer and spraying pepper spray, lashed out at the judge and walked out of his detention proceedings.

His meltdown happened as the judge ruled that he would stay behind bars during his virtual hearing.

US Magistrate judge Zia Faruqui said that Boughner was a flight risk and a danger to the community, adding that he might attempt to flee to Canada or somewhere else.

“You got these dumb*ss comments that you’re saying I said but I did not say these things,” frustrated Boughner shouted. “Do we really have to go through all this?”

“You guys don’t know what happened,” Boughner continued. “You really don’t know what happened. You guys [are] gonna believe what you guys wanna believe. So hey, it is what it is.”

He went on to interrupt the judge and said: “You know what, I don’t care anymore, I’m done with this. So I’d like to go eat my food and play cards.”

16 Michigan Republican who signed fake electoral certificate could face federal charges

06:25 , Shweta Sharma

As many as 16 Michigan Republicans who submitted fake certificates to the National Archives falsely declaring that Donald Trump won seven states are now facing potential federal investigations.

On Thursday night, Michigan attorney general Dana Nessel said that her office has referred the case to the US Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Michigan after a year-long investigation into the matter.

“I will say that under state law, I think clearly you have forgery of a public record, which is a 14-year offence, and election law forgery, which is a five-year offence,” Nessel told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow.

“But what we have decided to do with the investigation, in light of the fact that of course we have seen ... various different false slates of electors from several different states, in what seems to be a coordinated effort between the Republican parties in various different states, we think this is a matter that is best investigated and potentially prosecuted by the feds.”

Trump allies created fake certificates in Georgia, Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Nevada and New Mexico, seeking to replace valid presidential electors, according to documents.

Texas AG Ken Paxton ordered to turn over Trump rally records

05:45 , Shweta Sharma

Texas attorney general Ken Paxton has been given four days deadline to turn over the documents of his communication from 6 January when he took part in the pro-Trump rally before the riots.

The Travis County district attorney determined that Paxton violated the Texas open records law by withholding or failing to retain his communications that should be subject to public release, reported Austin American Statesman.

Paxton, who is running for re-election this year, is facing scrutiny over allegations of an extramarital affair as well as a pending FBI bribery investigation.

The Republican has denied any wrongdoing in the cases.

Jan 6 committee subpoenas four biggest tech giants

04:50 , Shweta Sharma

The House committee investigating the January 6 insurrection on the Capitol issued subpoenas on Thursday to four major tech giants – Alphabet, Meta, Reddit and Twitter after the companies failed to provide documents requested by the panel.

The committee chairman, Bennie Thompson, in the letter criticised the platforms for“contributed to the violent attack on our democracy, and what steps — if any — social media companies took to prevent their platforms from being breeding grounds for radicalizing people to violence.”

“It’s disappointing that after months of engagement, we still do not have the documents and information necessary to answer those basic questions,” said Thompson, Democrat of Mississippi.

Read Andrew Feinberg’s full report here

January 6th committee subpoenas records from Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Reddit

Oath Keepers leader arrested and charged for role in Jan 6 riot

04:34 , Shweta Sharma

Elmer Stewart Rhodes, the founder of the far-right Oath Keepers militia, was arrested and charged with seditious conspiracy for his role in the 6 January attack on the US Capitol, according to the Department of Justice.

He was indicted with 10 other members of the group with forming a conspiracy “to oppose the lawful transfer of power by force, by preventing, hinder, or delaying by force the execution of the laws governing the transfer of power” that was set to take place at the expiration of former president Donald Trump’s term in office on 20 January.

'America First' candidate dodges question of Trump’s stolen election claim

04:09 , Shweta Sharma

David McCormick, a Republican hedge fund executive, appeared to dodge questions when he was asked about Donald Trump’s baseless claims that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from him.

McCormick, who announced he is running for the US Senate in Pennsylvania on Thursday morning, was asked the question by an NBC10 reporter when he did not give a definitive answer to whether Trump lost last year.

“Listen, here’s what I’d say which I think is obvious,” said McCormick, who describes himself as a pro-”America First” candidate.

“The rules changed across the country and in Pennsylvania, there were a number of election irregularities in Pennsylvania, you had that with the unsecure ballot boxes, you had that with the three-day extension...”

But he was interrupted by the reporter, who asked “So do you not think that the election results were clear?”

“Let me just finish!” he replied. “And as a consequence of that, most Republicans, a majority, don’t believe in the integrity of the election.”

Laura Ingraham worried about further violence after Capitol riot, newly released text message reveals

04:00 , Justin Vallejo

Fox News host Laura Ingraham worried about further violence after the Capitol riot on 6 January last year, a newly released text message has revealed.

Six days after the insurrection, on 12 January, Ingraham wrote to the then-Chief of Staff in the Trump White House, Mark Meadows, to ask him to urge then-President Donald Trump to speak to his supporters and dissuade them from mounting armed protests against the election results at state capitols across the country.

“Remarks on camera discouraging protest at state capit[o]ls esp[ecially] with weapons will be well advised given how hot the situation is,” she wrote. “[E]veryone needs to calm down and pray for our country and for those who lost their lives last week.”

Gustaf Kilander and Tom Fenton have the story.

Laura Ingraham worried about further violence after Jan 6, text message reveals

Trump divides conservatives with ‘gutless’ jab on boosters as Ann Coulter lashes out

01:00 , Justin Vallejo

Donald Trump has called politicians who refuse to say whether they’ve had a Covid-19 booster shot “gutless” – and he appeared to be referring to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who has dodged questions on if he has taken up the latest coronavirus shot.

Speaking on conservative One America News Network, the former president said “You gotta say it. Whether you had it or not, say it.”

Conservative commentator Ann Coulter lashed out at Mr Trump in defence of Mr DeSantis on Twitter.

“Trump is demanding to know Ron DeSantis’s booster status, and I can now reveal it. He was a loyal booster when Trump ran in 2016, but then he learned our president was a liar and con man whose grift was permanent. I hope that clears things up,” she wrote on Twitter.

Jade Bremner has the story.

Trump divides conservatives with ‘gutless’ jab on boosters as Ann Coulter lashes out

Kevin McCarthy hits out at CNN in testy exchange over his refusal to testify in January 6 probe

00:47 , Justin Vallejo

Kevin McCarthy mocked CNN after one of the network’s reporters asked if the House Minority Leader was covering up his role in the US Capitol riot.

CNN"s chief congressional correspondent Manu Raju asked Mr McCarthy why the public shouldn’t conclude he was trying to "hide something" and prevent the "facts from coming out".

Mr McCarthy, who has rejected a January 6 select committee’s request for information, fired back it was a "great question", but before answering added in a knock on Mr Raju’s network

"I hope that everything gets corrected at CNN, work through all that with the, your employees," Mr McCarthy said.

CNN is facing several scandals with its news staff beyond the sexual assault allegations against Don Lemon, which he denies, and the high-profile firing of primetime anchor Chris Cuomo for helping his brother, former Governor Andrew Cuomo, defend against sexual harassment allegations of his own.

The network also fired John Griffin, a veteran producer who had previously worked with Cuomo, after a federal grand jury in Vermont indicted him for allegedly attempting to “induce minors to engage in unlawful sexual activity,” according to the Justice Department.

Rick Saleeby, a top producer for Jake Tapper, resigned after he was arrested as part of an investigation into “serious allegations involving potential juvenile victims”.

Trump ally Jeanine Pirro given permanent hosting gig on daily Fox News programme

00:00 , Justin Vallejo

Fox News host Judge Jeanine Pirro has been named as a new host on the right-wing network’s panel talk show The Five.

The promotion from her weekly Saturday night show Justice with Jeanine comes after she was named as a co-defendant in a $2.7bn defamation lawsuit filed by voting software company Smartmatic.

The lawsuit names Ms Pirro, along with Fox News, host Maria Bartiromo, Rudy Giuliani and attorney Sidney Powell as falsely accusing Smartmatic of rigging the 2020 presidential election against Donald Trump.

The Independent’s Bevan Hurley has the story.

Trump ally Jeanine Pirro given permanent hosting gig on daily Fox News programme

BREAKING: Accused Capitol rioter Baked Alaska jailed for 30 days for macing Arizona bouncer

Thursday 13 January 2022 23:19 , Justin Vallejo

Right-wing internet personality Baked Alaska, who is facing separate charges for allegedly joining in on the 6 January storming of the US Capitol, was sentenced to 30 days jail time on Thursday for pepper-spraying a bouncer at a Scottsdale, Arizona, nightclub.

The Independent’s Josh Marcus is following the breaking news.

Accused Capitol rioter Baked Alaska jailed for 30 days for macing Arizona bouncer

BREAKING: Accused Capitol rioter Baked Alaska jailed for 30 days for macing Arizona bouncer

Thursday 13 January 2022 23:19 , Justin Vallejo

Right-wing internet personality Baked Alaska, who is facing separate charges for allegedly joining in on the 6 January storming of the US Capitol, was sentenced to 30 days jail time on Thursday for pepper-spraying a bouncer at a Scottsdale, Arizona, nightclub.

The Independent’s Josh Marcus is following the breaking news.

Accused Capitol rioter Baked Alaska jailed for 30 days for macing Arizona bouncer

Liz Cheney accuses McCarthy of ‘clearly trying to cover up what happened’ on January 6

Thursday 13 January 2022 20:55 , Justin Vallejo

Liz Cheney accused House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of trying to cover up what happened during the insurrection at the Capitol on 6 January of last year.

Ms Cheney, who serves as the vice chairwoman of the select committee investigating the riot, made the remarks to CNN after Mr McCarthy rebuffed a request by the committee to provide information.

“I wish that he were a brave and honorable man,” Ms Cheney told CNN. “He’s clearly trying to cover up what happened. He has an obligation to come forward and we’ll get to the truth.”

Liz Cheney accuses McCarthy of

Kyrsten Sinema to speak in Senate

Thursday 13 January 2022 16:58 , Andrew Naughtie

Arizona Democrat Kyrsten Sinema is shortly to make a rare speaking appearance on the Senate floor, a sign that Joe Biden’s outreach to his Capitol Hill colleagues is in trouble.

Raphael Warnock: “You cannot remember Dr King and dismember his legacy at the same time"

Thursday 13 January 2022 16:50 , Andrew Naughtie

Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock, a pastor in whose church Martin Luther King Jr once preached, yesterday laid into Republican colleagues who are falling back on “states’ rights” arguments as they attack Democratic voting rights bills.

“The John Lewis Voting Rights Act, the Freedom to Vote Act is the legacy of Dr King,” he said. “And if you would give lip service to his name, you need to find yourself on the right side of history, pushing to get these bills done.”

House of Representatives passes new voting rights bill

Thursday 13 January 2022 16:35 , Andrew Naughtie

After a string of party-line statements by representatives from both sides, the House has passed voting rights legislation in its latest form. The final tally was 220-203.

House Democrats pass latest voting rights bill heading for Senate showdown

Ilhan Omar goes after McCarthy – with his own words

Thursday 13 January 2022 16:18 , Andrew Naughtie

As the House minority leader resists the call to testify to the 6 January select committee, Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar has dug up one of his past statements to undermine his case for refusing:

Rumblings of animosity as Joe Biden reaches out to Senate Democrats

Thursday 13 January 2022 15:48 , Andrew Naughtie

Politico’s Tara Palmieri reports that the attempt to get Democrats on board with changing Senate rules for the sake of getting voting rights legislation passed may not be going to plan, with holdout Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema taking exception to the president’s approach...

Al Sharpton on voting rights legislation: “a roll call on who’s on what side"

Thursday 13 January 2022 15:34 , Andrew Naughtie

Veteran civil rights leader Al Sharpton has weighed in on the latest effort to get voting rights legislation passed. Watch the clip below from Washington Post Live.

Flashback: How Kevin McCarthy described the insurrection at the time

Thursday 13 January 2022 15:10 , Andrew Naughtie

As Kevin McCarthy tries to delegitimise the work of the 6 January committee, it’s worth looking back to how he described the events of the Capitol insurrection at the time.

Kevin McCarthy claims 6 January committee is simply trying to take heat off Biden

Thursday 13 January 2022 14:41 , Andrew Naughtie

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told Fox News this morning that the 6 January committee’s request for his testimony is a “distraction” staged “because they don’t want people looking at what’s happening” – specifically, consumer price inflation.

Mr McCarthy, who said after the riot that Donald Trump “bears responsibility for [the] attack on Congress by mob rioters” and that he “should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding”, also dismissed committee members Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger as “not two Republicans that the Republicans have appointed”.

Nancy Pelosi in fact accepted three of his five chosen appointees to the panel; it was he who withdrew them in protest when she rejected the other two – one of whom, Jim Jordan, is now also being sought as a witness.

Watch: Arizona Republican dodges questions on role in slate of “alternate electors” in January 2021

Thursday 13 January 2022 14:21 , Andrew Naughtie

As Arizona became one of the target states in Donald Trump’s effort to overturn the 2020 election result there, some state Republicans deployed a wild tactic: sending a notarised slate of pro-Trump “alternate electors” to the National Archives.

The document was signed by State Representative Jake Hoffman, who has now refused to explain how he came to join the effort, how he first heard of it, or whether he was instructed to by somebody else. A tag-team questioning by two journalists put him in a tight spot.

Before he was elected to the legislature, Mr Hoffman ran an online marketing firm, Rally Forge, that has been likened to a “troll farm”. It was paid hundreds of thousands of dollars by right-wing groups for social media services, and was ultimately banned from Facebook for creating accounts that posted “inauthentic” content on clients’ behalf.

MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough brands McCarthy ‘spineless’ and ‘gutless’ for Jan 6 U-turn

Thursday 13 January 2022 14:00 , Thomas Fenton

MSNBC host Joe Scarborough has blasted House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy for his recent comments on the 6 January riot.

The California Republican, who previously stated that Former President Donald Trump was directly responsible for the riot, is now refusing to cooperate with the House select committee, which also contradicts his public assurance that he would testify before an outside commission about his conversations that day with the former president.

“We’ve talked about Kevin McCarthy, well, a year ago today saying that [Trump was responsible for Jan. 6] on the floor,” the Morning Joe host said on Thursday (via Raw Story).

“But watching it again today is such dark and a direct reminder of just how shameless, just how gutless he and the Republican Party and all of those who are claiming that Jan. 6 was much adieu about nothing. It just shows they’re not only lying to Americans, but they’re lying to themselves and they know it.”

“Let’s just let that sink in for a second right there. Two weeks earlier he said Donald Trump was the greatest threat to freedom, the lawlessness he was responsible for and two weeks later he’s gripping and grinning and leaking a picture to donors,” Scarborough added.

Eric Garcia: Extreme rhetoric now the GOP norm

Thursday 13 January 2022 13:41 , Andrew Naughtie

The Independent’s Eric Garcia weighs in on the case of a Republican congressman invoking the Nazis in his opposition to vaccine mandates...

Sources indicate Kayleigh McEnany met with January 6 committee on Wednesday

Thursday 13 January 2022 13:25 , Thomas Fenton

Former White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany on Wednesday appeared before the House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection, CNN sources claim.

They add that the meeting was a virtual one, and that she was absent from her usual co-hosting duties on Fox’s ‘Outnumbered’ show as a result. McEnany, who worked in the Trump White House and was a spokesperson for Mr Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign, was initially subpoenaed in November.

The committee has requested a significant number of Ms McEnany’s records from the National Archives, which are still tied up in court because Former President Donald Trump has asked the Supreme Court to block the committee’s access to his White House records.

The committee’s original subpoena of Ms McEnany shows a specific interest in her public statements related to spreading misinformation about the 2020 election results.

Lindsey Graham wants McConnell to form a ‘working relationship’ with Trump

Thursday 13 January 2022 12:45 , Thomas Fenton

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham has hit out at Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, saying he won’t back McConnell to lead the GOP unless McConnell has a “working relationship” with Former President Donald Trump.

During an interview with Fox News on Wednesday, Graham blasted Senator McConnell for his broken-down relationship with the former president.

“Elections are about the future,” Graham said. “If you want to be a Republican leader in the House or the Senate, you have to have a working relationship with President Donald Trump.”

“It’s his nomination if he wants it, and I think he’ll get reelected in 2024.”

“I liked Senator McConnell,” Graham added. “But here’s the question — can Senator McConnell effectively work with the leader of the Republican Party, Donald Trump?”

ICYMI - McCarthy refuses to cooperate with select committee probe

Thursday 13 January 2022 12:05 , Thomas Fenton

House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy has refused to cooperate with the House select committee investigating the 6 January insurrection, citing the “illegitimate” investigation by the panel.

In a statement released hours after the committee sent a formal request to him for an interview, Mr McCarthy said that the “illegitimate” panel was trying to interview him about his “private conversations not remotely related to the violence that unfolded at the Capitol.”

“The committee’s only objective is to attempt to damage its political opponents,” he said.

“It is with neither regret nor satisfaction that I have concluded to not participate with this select committee’s abuse of power that stains this institution today and will harm it going forward.”

The panel requested “voluntary cooperation” after noting that he had previously acknowledged having at least one telephone conversation with Donald Trump while a mob of his supporters was storming the Capitol in hopes of stopping Congress from certifying President Joe Biden’s 2020 electoral college victory.

Democrats embrace hardball judicial ‘blue slips’ tactics first adopted by Trump

Thursday 13 January 2022 11:26 , Thomas Fenton

Former President Donald Trump and Republican politicians previously broke with Senate convention to confirm 17 federal appeals court nominees over the objection of Democratic senators representing the states tied to their seats on the bench.

President Joe Biden and Senate Democrats are now utilizing that tactic for themselves, as part of their efforts to fill vacancies in red states,CNN reports.

“There’s a lot of focus on President Trump’s record 54 circuit court confirmations,” said Chris Kang, the co-founder and chief counsel of Demand Justice, which advocates for Democrats to take a more aggressive approach to the judicial confirmation process.

“It’s because Republicans use their blue slips to create these openings. And then they ran over Democrats 17 times to fill them,” he adds.

That move helped the former President and the GOP party transform the federal judiciary. The circuit courts are the last step before cases reach the Supreme Court and are often the last word in determining how laws and regulations are eventually interpreted.

Video resurfaces of Rand Paul admitting ‘misinformation works’ amid Dr Fauci accusations

Thursday 13 January 2022 10:57 , Thomas Fenton

Senator Rand Paul has been seen in a resurfaced video admitting to spreading misinformation and says “misinformation works”.

The Kentucky senator, who has been accused of issuing an “unbalanced” and “delusional” attack on Dr Anthony Fauci, had on Tuesday been accused of “distorting” information about Covid-19 and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), and of issuing “misinformation”.

A video shared to Twitter by Federation of American scientists epidemiologist Dr Eric Feigl-Ding appeared to show Mr Paul in 2013 admitting to telling medical students at the University of Louisville, “misinformation works”, as The Atlantic reported at the time.

Gino Spocchia reports:

Video resurfaces of Rand Paul admitting ‘misinformation works’

Large QAnon presence expected at Donald Trump’s Arizona rally

Thursday 13 January 2022 10:26 , Thomas Fenton

A new report is predicting a large QAnon presence at Former President Donald Trump’s upcoming Arizona rally.

According to Vice, Saturday’s event will see Arizona state Representative Mark Finchem address the audience as a “special guest speaker”.

Rep Finchem has “repeatedly shared QAnon conspiracies on social media and on QAnon-friendly podcasts and media platforms, and last year he headlined a major QAnon conference in Las Vegas,” Vice reports.

Joining Mr Finchem on stage will be MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, who has been at the forefront of false claims of mass voter fraud in the 2020 election.

Full report:

QAnon followers gather in AZ for Trump rally hoping to be joined by Tupac and JFK

Dems switch strategy on voting bill as Biden pushes action

Thursday 13 January 2022 09:45 , Matt Mathers

Senate Democrats are trying to force a public showdown over their sweeping elections legislation, aiming to launch debate on a key party priority even though there’s no assurance the bill will come to a vote.

Full report:

Dems switch strategy on voting bill as Biden pushes action

MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell says he has evidence to put 300 million in jail for election fraud

Thursday 13 January 2022 09:30 , Matt Mathers

MyPillow CEO and Trump supporter Mike Lindell has made perhaps his most outlandish claim about the 2020 election yet – that he has enough evidence to lock up nearly the entire US population for voter fraud.

My colleague Josh Marcus has more below:

Mike Lindell says he has evidence to put 300 million in jail for election fraud

Jen Psaki dismisses GOP criticism of Biden’s voting rights speech by pointing to silence against Trump rhetoric

Thursday 13 January 2022 09:10 , Matt Mathers

White House press secretary Jen Psaki dismissed Republican criticism of President Joe Biden’s remarks condemning the GOP’s efforts to restrict ballot access and change the rules of election administration.

My colleague Alex Woodward reports:

White House dismisses criticism of Biden’s voting rights speech as GOP launch attacks

Republicans rally around senator who Trump said ‘went woke’ by saying he lost 2020 election

Thursday 13 January 2022 08:55 , Matt Mathers

Republican senators rallied to the defence of Sen Mike Rounds this week after he was attacked by former President Donald Trump.

Mr Rounds sparked a feud with the former president when he went on ABC’s This Week on Sunday and reiterated that he did not believe conspiracy theories supported by Mr Trump and his allies about the 2020 election, namely the assertion that Mr Trump had in fact won the election.

John Bowden reports:

Republicans rally around senator attacked by Trump for saying he lost 2020 election

ICYMI: Trump’s NPR interview proved he’s a shadow of his former self

Thursday 13 January 2022 08:39 , Matt Mathers

The former president accidentally said the quiet part out loud and came across as overwhelmingly fragile, writes Holly Baxter.

Read Holly’s full piece here:

Trump’s NPR interview proved he’s a shadow of his former self

Human Rights Watch criticises Biden for weak defence of democracy

Thursday 13 January 2022 07:00 , Shweta Sharma

As pressure continues to mount on former president Donald Trump, his successor, Joe Biden, along with other Western leaders were lambasted by Human Rights Watch on Thursday.

The criticism came over the countries’ weak defense of democracy and for failing to meet challenges from the climate crisis and Covid-19 pandemic to poverty, inequality and racial injustice.

Human Rights Executive Director Kenneth Roth said Biden took office in January 2021 with a pledge to put human rights at the center of his foreign policy, in contrast to what he described as former US president Donald Trump’s “embrace of friendly autocrats”.

“But he continued to sell arms to Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Israel despite their persistent repression,” Roth wrote in Human Rights Watch’s annual World Report, released on Thursday.

“Other Western leaders displayed similar weakness in their defense of democracy,” Roth wrote, referring to French President Emmanuel Macron and former German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Biden was also critised for seeming to “lose his voice when it came to public denunciation of serious human rights violations” during summits.

“If democracies are to prevail in the global contest with autocracy, their leaders must do more than spotlight the autocrats’ inevitable shortcomings. They need to make a stronger, positive case for democratic rule,” Roth said.

Former White House press secretary for Trump met Jan 6 panel

Thursday 13 January 2022 06:30 , Shweta Sharma

Kayleigh McEnany, former White House press secretary for Donald Trump and current Fox News host, has appeared before the House select committee investigating the 6 January insurrection.

The appearance was virtual and had been “going on all day”, the panel’s chairman Bennie Thompson told CBS News on Wednesday.

The Fox News host was serving as a top spokesperson for then-president Donald Trump and was an adviser to the Trump 2020 campaign.

She was subpoenaed in November by the committee, asking her to turn over any related records and appear for deposition.

The subpoena expressed interest in speaking with her based on her public statements pushing the former president’s baseless voter fraud claims and noted that her comments contributed to public distrust in the election and fueled insurrection.

The panel also noted that she was with Trump on 6 January when he travelled to Ellipse and delivered the incendiary speech to “fight like hell” and “stop the steal”.

The committee has so far issued 85 subpoenas to Trump allies, former White House officials and individuals who are suspected to be involved in planning of the rally before riots broke out at the Capitol.

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