Trump’s deposition unsealed in rape accuser lawsuit as his organization fined $1.6m – latest news

A judge has unsealed portions of a transcript from Donald Trump’s filmed deposition stemming from E Jean Carroll’s lawsuit against him.

In his testimony, he repeatedly denied allegations against him and claimed to not know the woman who accused him of raping her in the 1990s, calling her a “wack job” while threatening to sue her and her attorneys.

Earlier on Friday, the former president’s eponymous company was fined $1.6m after its subsidiaries were convicted of a years-long tax fraud scheme. The sentence in New York City omes days after the Trump Organization’s longtime chief financial officer was sentenced to four months in jail in connection with a sweeping investigation into the former president’s business empire.

The latest developments follow the discovery of classified documents from President Joe Biden’s time as vice president and ongoing investigations into classified documents recovered from Mr Trump’s Mar-a-Lago property. Attorney General Merrick Garland has appointed Robert Hur as special counsel to oversee an investigation into Mr Biden’s case, while House Republicans are mulling plans to launch their own investigation into the president.

Key points

  • Judge unseals Trump deposition in E Jean Carroll case

  • Trump Organization fined $1.6m for years-long tax fraud scheme

  • Garland names special counsel to oversee Biden classified papers probe

  • Trump launches vicious personal tirade against ‘thug’ special counsel investigating him

  • Trump fumes over classified documents found at Biden think tank

ICYMI: Judge rejects Donald Trump’s ‘absurd’ bid to throw out E Jean Carroll sexual assault lawsuit

22:30 , Alex Woodward

A judge has thrown out Donald Trump’s attempt to dismiss a lawsuit brought by E Jean Carroll, who has sued the former president for defamation over

Ms Carroll accused the former president in 2019 of raping her in a department store in New York in the mid-1990s. She filed a lawsuit last year after New York enacted the Adult Survivors Act, which allows victims of sexual assault to sue for decades-old offences.

On Friday, Judge Lewis Kaplan said in a decision denying the motion that Mr Trump’s argument was “absurd”.

Judge rejects Donald Trump’s ‘absurd’ bid to throw out sexual assault lawsuit

‘D-Lister’ fraud or Maga hero? How Matt Gaetz split the Republican Party

22:15 , Alex Woodward

One of the most outspoken members of the so-called “Never Kevin” holdouts was Florida’s far-right congressman Matt Gaetz, who attacked Kevin McCarthy in unsparing terms as an “alligator” and sent a letter to the House architect, asking why the GOP leader had been assigned the speaker’s office before securing the vote and suggesting he was a “squatter”.

The Independent’s Andrew Buncombe has this look at the newly insurgent Gaetz and his standing among Republicans in the GOP-controlled House:

‘D-Lister’ fraud or Maga hero – how Matt Gaetz split the GOP

Breaking: Trump’s transcript from E Jean Carroll lawsuit deposition is unsealed

21:56 , Alex Woodward

A federal judge has unsealed portions of Donald Trump’s taped deposition transcript in the E Jean Carroll defamation lawsuit.

At issue in his deposition is a statement on his Truth Social platform in October of 2022. She has accused him of defamation after for dismissing her allegation that he raped her in a department store in New York in the 1990s.

“There’s something wrong with her in my opinion,” he said, according to the transcript.

He continues: “But it's a false accusation. Never happened, never would happen. And I posted and I will continue to post until such time as – and then I will sue her after this is over, and that's the thing I really look forward to doing. And I'll sue you too because this is – how many cases do you have? Many, many cases, and I know the statements that were made – that you made. Keep Trump busy because this is the way you defeat him, to keep him busy with litigation. So I will be suing you also, but I'll be suing her very strongly as soon as this case ends.”

ICYMI: Trump lawsuit claims CNN tried to ‘sabotage’ him with Nazi comparisons

21:40 , Alex Woodward

Trump’s defamation lawsuit against CNN accuses the network of baselessly comparing the former president and his nationalist Make America Great Again movement to the rise of Nazism in 1930s Germany.

But in the same filing, the former president’s lawyers have unironically suggested in a recent filing that journalists are “an enemy of democracy” and invited the courts to strip First Amendment protections by revisiting landmark precedent in a decades-old US Supreme Court case, with Mr Trump’s lawsuit providing a “perfect vehicle” to tear it down.

The lawsuit also suggests that the network is responsible for the “rise of disinformation” without addressing Mr Trump’s own wave of bogus claims, including the so-called “big lie” baselessly alleging a conspiracy theory to steal the 2020 presidential election from him, a phrase that is central to his battle with the news network.

Trump’s defamation suit claims CNN tried to ‘sabotage’ him with Hitler comparisons

Cigar smoke, dogs and no metal detectors: The bizarre first two weeks of a Republican-controlled House

21:10 , Alex Woodward

The Independennt’s Washington chief Eric Garcia assesses the vibes of the new GOP-controlled House of Representatives:

Throughout the House’s first two weeks — along with the fact that there was no speaker for the first few days — the halls of Congress have definitely had a different energy to when they were under Democratic control. I first moved to DC when Republicans controlled the House during the Tea Party era that saw conservative insurgents shove out John Boehner. I also covered Congress when Republicans controlled the House, the Senate and the White House during Donald Trump’s presidency. I’m no stranger to GOP-controlled spaces in government. But I know a weird energy when I feel one.

Cigar smoke and dogs: The bizarre first 2 weeks of a Republican House

New book claims Trump repeatedly suggested attacking North Korea and blaming it on another country

20:45 , Alex Woodward

A new afterward in a new edition of New York Times correspondent Michael Schmidt’s 2020 book about the former president reports that Trump repeatedly discussed the idea of using a nuclear weapon against North Korean and blaming the strikes on another country in 2017.

The new section of the book – Donald Trump v the United States – relies on interviews with administration officials and others who worked with then-White House chief of staff John Kelly, who reportedly said Trump “cavalierly discussed the idea of using a nuclear weapon against North Korea, saying that if he took such an action, the administration could blame someone else for it to absolve itself of responsibility.”

Mr Kelly said he came up with a plan to appeal to Trump’s “narcissism” to dial down his rhetoric, according to the new section of the book, obtained by NBC News.

He allegedly convinced Trump that he could prove he was the “greatest salesman in the world” with a diplomatic strategy that would avert nuclear disaster.

Steve Bannon wants to change lawyers in his ‘We Build the Wall’ fraud case

20:30 , Alex Woodward

Former Trump adviser and current podcaster Steve Bannon has asked a judge to let him change his lawyers in his defense aginst charges that he defrauded donors in a “We Build the Wall” campaign that allegedly raised money for the former president’s US-Mexico border wall project.

His current attorney David Schoen told Judge Juan Merchan in New York on Thursday that “irreconcilable differences have arisen” on the defense team, according to ABC News.

“We certainly don’t need to show good cause and we don’t need to go into detail,” Mr Schoen said.

The judge replied: “With all due respect, I believe you’re 100 per cent wrong.”

He suggested the change request was an attempt to delay the case.

Manhattan assistant district attorney Daniel Passesser said the office has no objection as long as they keep to the schedule.

Bannon has pleaded not guilty to charges of money laundering, conspiracy and scheming to defraud investors. He was pardoned by the former president on his final night in office after he was indicted on federal charges.

CNN compilation delivers scathing rebuke of GOP hypocrisy over Biden documents and Trump raid

20:00 , Alex Woodward

A CNN supercut shows that Republican politicians are very concerned about classified documents found at Joe Biden’s properties and notably less concerned when classified documents were found during the FBI raid on Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago property.

Mr Trump and his aides resisted the government’s repeated efforts to retrieve documents he’s accused of improperly withholding, while the president’s lawyers reported the documents in his possession and is in full cooperation with the Justice Department.

GOP hypocrisy called out in compilation of reactions to Biden and Trump documents

16 GOP electors in Michigan sued for declaring Trump’s 2020 victory

19:40 , Alex Woodward

A group of Democratic electors in Michigan have sued 16 Republican electors who had falsely declared in official documents that Trump won the 2020 election.

A lawsuit filed in Kent County Circuit Court this week alleges that the GOP electorates created a fake election “certificate” that was “signed by the defendants and styled ‘Certificate of the Votes of the 2020 Electors from Michigan,’ which they offered as an official public record.”

The defendants are accused of participating in a scheme “to steal the election and install the losing candidate” a president.

“Plaintiffs suffered humiliation, mental anguish and stress as a result of being cast in the false light created by defendants’ election fraud and lies,” according to the lawsuit.

The filing comes just days after Democratic Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said she was reopening her office’s investigation into Republican electors.

She said there is “clear evidence to support charges” against the group of Republicans who signed a document that was submitted to the National Archives and was intended to bolster Trump’s challenge to his election loss.

Just in: Supreme Court closing in on suspect who leaked Roe v Wade-ending opinion

19:23 , Alex Woodward

Investigators are reportedly closing in on identifying who leaked a draft ruling that ultimately became the US Supreme Court’s June decision to overturn Roe v Wade and end the constitutional right to an abortion.

Supreme Court marshals reportedly have narrowed their search down to a small number of suspects, including law clerks, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing anonymous sources familiar with the investigation.

Supreme Court closing in on suspect who leaked Roe v Wade-ending opinion

‘Trump had no influence’ in House speaker holdouts, GOP members say

19:15 , Alex Woodward

Several so-called “Never Kevin” holdouts who did not initially support Kevin McCarthy in his repeatedly failed attempt to get the House Speaker gig said Donald Trump – who appeared to call Marjorie Taylor Greene while Republicans were in a raucous debate on the floor last week – did not factor into the equation.

“President Trump had no influence on the votes, myself or any of my colleagues,” Congressman Bob Good told ABC News.

He said that he did not want to “prolong” the speaker vote after several rounds when it became “inevitable” that Mr McCarthy would win the gavel.

Congressman Ralph Northam said Trump – who issued a statement on his Truth Social account backing Mr McCarthy – should not have gotten involved at all.

“In fact, I disagreed with him getting involved,” he said.

McCarthy says he will look into GOP members' calls to expunge Trump impeachments

18:50 , Alex Woodward

Newly elected House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said he will take a look at his members’ requests to expunge one or both of Trump’s impeachments.

“I would understand why members would want to bring that forward,” he said during a press conference on Thursday. “We’d look at it.”

The former president was impeached twice while in office in the House but acquitted both times in the Senate. The House adopted two articles against him in his first impeachment – abuse of power and obstruction of Congress – following his attempts to withhold military aid to Ukraine in exchange for politically damaging information about his then-opponent Joe Biden. A second impeachment on a charge of incitement of insurrection involved his rhetoric and actions that fuelled the attack on the US Capitol.

In the last Congress, a group of more than 30 House Republicans attempted a resolution to expunge Trump’s impeachment, a measure supported by high-ranking Republican Elise Stefanik.

Just in: Biden to deliver State of the Union address on 7 February

18:30 , Alex Woodward

President Joe Biden has accepted House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s invitation to deliver his second State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on 7 February.

In a letter to the president, Mr McCarthy said the American people had sent him and the new House GOP majority to Washington “ to deliver a new direction for the country, to find common ground, and to debate their priorities”.

“In that spirit, it is my solemn obligation to invite you to speak before a Joint Session of Congress on Tuesday, February 7, 2023 so that you may fulfill your duty under the Constitution to report on the state of the union,” he wrote, adding that Mr Biden’s remarks “will inform our efforts to address the priorities of the American people”.

McCarthy invites Biden to deliver State of the Union speech on 7 February

Judge denies Trump attempts to dismiss E Jean Carroll’s second defamation lawsuit

18:15 , Alex Woodward

A federal judge has rejected Trump’s latest attempt to dismiss E Jean Carroll’s second lawsuit accusing the former president of defamation for denying that he raped her in a Manhattan department store in the 1990s.

US District Judge Lewis Kaplan said Trump’s arguments are “without merit”, including his claim that Ms Carroll’s defamation case was legally insufficient because she failed to allege “special damages”, and that her claim under the New York’s Adult Survivors Act should be dismissed because the law violate’s the state constitution.

“As is obvious, the central issue in both Carroll I and Carroll II [lawsuits] is exactly the same – whether Mr Trump raped Ms Carroll,” the judge wrote. “If he did not, then Ms Carroll’s sexual assault claim in Carroll II and her libel claims in both cases likely would fail. If he did, then little would remain in either case except perhaps a few minor issues related to Mr Trump’s statements and determination.”

Trump’s attempt to dismiss the current case, Carroll II, her second lawsuit, “contends that the sexual abuse claim must be dismissed because the [Adult Survivors Act] violates the Due Process Clause of the New York State Constitution,” according to the judge’s order.

“He argues also that the libel claim is legally insufficient because Ms Carroll’s complaint fails to allege what New York law refers to as ‘special damages.’ Both of his arguments are without merit,” she wrote.

Don Jr mocks paying taxes after father’s company sentenced for tax fraud

18:00 , Alex Woodward

The former president’s oldest son appeared to mock the idea of paying taxes in a meme on his Instagram page after his father’s eponymous company was fined $1.6m following a conviction stemming from years-long tax avoidance scheme.

Two subsidiaries of Donald Trump’s Trump Organization were sentenced on 13 January after a New York City jury delivered a guilty verdict on 17 felony crimes against them last month.

On Instagram, Donald Trump Jr posted an image reading “Don’t forget to pay your taxes. Other countries are depending on it,” alluding to right-wing complaints about ongoing US spending to support Ukraine against Russian attacks.

Don Jr mocks paying taxes after father’s company sentenced for tax fraud

Kellyanne Conway pens New York Times op-ed on his political ‘assets’ and ‘bagagge'

17:30 , Alex Woodward

Trump’s former top aide Kellyanne Conway wrote a column for The New York Times (”The Cases For and Against Trump”) arguing that it would be “foolish” to assume that the former president has a “smooth and secure” path to 2024.

“This is not 2016, when he and his team had the hunger, swagger and scrappiness of an insurgent’s campaign and the ‘history be damned’ happy warrior resolve of an underestimated, understaffed, underresourced effort,” she wrote.

“It’s tough to be new twice,” she said.

Ms Conway says Trump has both “political assets to carry him forward and political baggage holding him back” and will need to rely on “fewer insults and more insights” rather than endless grievances.

Former Speaker Paul Ryan brands Trump a ‘proven loser'

17:20 , Alex Woodward

Former GOP House Speaker Paul Ryan said Trump is “fading fast” and a “proven loser” during a recent interview with CNN.

“He cost us the House in ‘18, he cost us the White House in ‘20, he cost us the Senate again and again, and I think we all know that and I think we’re moving past Trump,” he said. “I really think that’s the case. I can’t imagine him getting the nomination, frankly.”

Former Speaker Paul Ryan brands Trump a ‘proven loser’

Donald Trump allies floating Tulsi Gabbard as 2024 running mate, report says

17:00 , Alex Woodward

Some Trump allies are reportedly already floating potential running mates to boost interest in Trump’s 2024 campaign for the White House, according to a new report.

The former president hasn’t started campaigning for the nomination, and few people have been hired to run his operation in the early primary states, but allies have still been considering names for VP, The Daily Beast reported.

One of them is a familiar face and a recent stand-in for Tucker Carlson on his Fox News programme.

Read more here:

Donald Trump allies floating Tulsi Gabbard as 2024 running mate, report says

Trump to host first 2024 campaign event in South Carolina

16:30 , Alex Woodward

Trump will host his first event of his 2024 presidential campaign in South Carolina, what advisers are calling an “intimate” event and not one of his larger rallies that he has continued post-presidency.

The Democratic National Committee recently moved to put the state first on its primary election calendar, a move that could drastically reshape the closely watched primary season. Iowa had long held the title of the “first-in-the-nation” primary state.

The South Carolina primary is on 3 February, 2024.

Mic issues, Rudy Giuliani’s hair dye and blaming Trump: How opening day of the Proud Boys trial went down

16:20 , Alex Woodward

The seditious conspiracy trial for five members of the far-right organisation has entered its second day in federal court in Washington DC, steps away from the US Capitol, more than two years after the group joined a riot in the halls of Congress.

The Independent’s Graig Graziosi has this report from inside the courtroom after a long first day of opening arguments from federal prosecutors and defense attorneys:

What happened on opening day of the Proud Boys Jan 6 trial?

Why Trump, not Biden, faces more peril from the new special counsel probe

16:00 , Alex Woodward

Republicans who called for Attorney General Merrick Garland to name a special prosecutor for a Justice Department probe into how Obama-era documents bearing classification markings ended up at Joe Biden’s Delaware home and his former office at a Washington, DC, think tank didn’t have to wait long for an answer.

But Trump’s allies who are demanding “equal treatment” towards the twice-impeached ex-president – who is himself facing an ongoing investigation into his alleged unlawful retention of national defence information at his Florida beach club and alleged obstruction of that investigation – are likely to be extremely disappointed.

The Independent’s Andrew Feinberg reports from Washington DC:

Why Trump, not Biden, faces more peril from the new special counsel probe

Trump lawyer says company will appeal

15:46 , Alex Woodward

Susan Necheles, one of the Trump Organization’s lawyers, told the court on Friday that the company would appeal the conviction.

“The DA, as usual, or again, does not understand the tax law,” she said.

She echoed other Trump Organiztion arguments that the charges stem from individual rogue executives, not a culture of fraud throughout the business. She had pinned blame on Allen Weisselberg, who was sentenced to four months in jail for his role in the scheme, as well as Matt Calamari and Jeff McConney.

Manhattan DA reacts to Trump Organization’s sentencing: ‘You cannot defraud tax authorities and get away with it’

15:17 , Alex Woodward

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said in a statement on 13 January that the former president’s business “conducted and benefitted from sweeping fraud for well over a decade.”

“While corporations can’t serve jail time, this consequential conviction and sentencing serves as a reminder to corporations and executives that you cannot defraud tax authorities and get away with it,” he added.

Mr Bragg’s office is pursuing a broad criminal inquiry into the company’s financial statements, and the latest sentence “represents a significant chapter of our ongoing investigation” into the former president, he said.

The sentencing includes maximum fines totalling more than $800,000 each against the Trump Corporation and the Trump Payroll Corporation.

The subsidiaries were convicted in December of three counts of falsifying business records, two counts third-degree tax fraud, and one count each of scheming to defraud in the first degree, fourth-degree conspiracy, and fourth-degree criminal tax fraud.

Breaking: Donald Trump’s company fined $1.6m for years-long tax fraud scheme

15:05 , Alex Woodward

Donald Trump’s ponymous company has been fined $1.6m after a New York City jury convicted two Trump Organization subsidiaries on charges stemming from what prosecutors described as a years-long scheme to avoid paying payroll taxes by compensating top executives with lavish untaxed perks.

The December verdict followed 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, who was sentenced to five months in jail this week.

Donald Trump’s company fined $1.6m for years-long tax fraud scheme

Diamond and Silk Twitter account posts tribute to late Trump supporter

14:50 , Rachel Sharp

Diamond and Silk’s Twitter account has posted a tribute for one half of the Donald Trump supporting duo.

Diamond – real name Lynette Hardaway – died on Monday at the age of 51, prompting a tribute from the former president.

On Friday morning, the duo’s Twitter account shared a video tribute showing Diamond with Mr Trump and MyPillow CEO and conspiracy theorist Mike Lindell.

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Former Speaker Paul Ryan brands Trump a ‘proven loser’

14:30 , Rachel Sharp

Former Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin has hit out at former President Donald Trump as a “proven loser” in an interview on CNN.

“He’s fading fast,” Mr Ryan said of Mr Trump to the network’s Jake Tapper. “He’s a proven loser. He cost us the House in ‘18, he cost us the White House in ‘20, he cost us the Senate again and again, and I think we all know that and I think we’re moving past Trump. I really think that’s the case. I can’t imagine him getting the nomination, frankly.”

The Independent’s Abe Asher has the story:

Former Speaker Paul Ryan brands Trump a ‘proven loser’

Trump Organization to be sentenced imminently

14:29 , Alex Woodward

Donald Trump’s Trump Organization is facing sentencing this morning after a jury rendered a guilty verdict last month 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.

The verdict followed 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, who was sentenced to five months in jail this week.

More on the verdict from our December report here:

Trump Organization found guilty on criminal tax fraud charges

Garland names special counsel to oversee Biden classified papers probe

14:10 , Rachel Sharp

Attorney General Merrick Garland has appointed a former Maryland-based federal prosecutor to serve as a special counsel who will supervise the department’s probe into how classified documents ended up in two locations linked to President Joe Biden.

Andrew Feinberg has the details.

Garland appoints special counsel to handle Biden classified documents investigation

GOP split on how to tackle revelations about Biden documents

13:45 , Oliver O'Connell

The new House Republican majority is split about the response they want to see to President Joe Biden’s handling of classified documents after his personal lawyers announced they had discovered more classified documents in the garage of his home in Delaware.

Eric Garcia and Andrew Feinberg report from Washington, DC.

House Republicans split on how to tackle revelations about Biden documents

Who could Donald Trump pick as vice president in 2024?

13:20 , Rachel Sharp

Now that Donald Trump has officially kicked off his third campaign for the presidency, one of the few certainties about what he will do if he wins the GOP nomination in 2024 is that he won’t be running with his former vice president, Mike Pence.

Not only has Mr Pence said he is giving “prayerful consideration” to declaring himself a presidential candidate in the next general election, but the Trump-Pence relationship has not been strong since the former vice president refused to hijack certification of electoral votes, leading to the January 6 attack on the Capitol.

Read more here:

Who could Donald Trump pick as vice president in 2024?

News analysis: There’s a key difference in the Biden and Trump classified papers cases

13:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Andrew Feinberg explains how the way President Biden’s attorneys reacted to discovering documents with classification markings in a locked office once used by the president will go a long way toward keeping the Department of Justice off his back.

The key difference between Biden and Trump’s classified papers

Mic issues, Rudy Giuliani’s hair dye and blaming Trump: How opening day of the Proud Boys trial went down

12:40 , Rachel Sharp

The attorneys defending five members of the Proud Boys against seditious conspiracy charges would have you believe that their actions were simultaneously “disgraceful” and afflicted by “myths” about their bigotry, that they were mere “scapegoats” misled by Donald Trump, and that they regret their actions – even though they stand by the belief that the Capitol riot was little more than a “six hour delay of Congress”.

Former Proud Boys chairman Enrique Tarrio, and four members Zachary Rehl, Ethan Nordean, Joe Biggs, and Dominic Pezzola are accused of conspiring to incite the January 6 Capitol riot in an effort to stop the peaceful transfer of power following the 2020 election.

On Thursday, they all returned to the scene of their alleged crimes as they were brought into the E. Barrett Prettyman Courthouse, just across the street from the US Capitol grounds, for the start of their trial.

The Independent’s Graig Graziosi reports from the E. Barrett Prettyman Courthouse, in Washington DC:

What happened on opening day of the Proud Boys Jan 6 trial?

Trump leads DeSantis in early 2024 poll

12:20 , Rachel Sharp

Donald Trump has pulled ahead of Ron DeSantis in an early poll for the 2024 presidential election.

A Morning Consult poll shows the former president has gained a 13 point lead over the Florida governor, with 46 per cent of poll participants saying that they want him to be the Republican candidate in the White House race.

Mr DeSantis was the second most popular GOP candidate, with 33 per cent of pollsters supporting him, while former vice president Mike Pence came in third with 9 per cent of votes.

Despite the poll, Mr DeSantis appears to have already won the favour of the GOP who largely turned their backs on Mr Trump after a disappointing turnout in the November midterms.

Biden tussles with Peter Doocy over classified papers

12:00 , Rachel Sharp

Joe Biden clashed with a Fox News reporter after he was asked why classified documents had been found stored next to his Corvette sports car.

The president tussled with the conservative channel’s Peter Doocy after the White House admitted that Mr Biden’s personal lawyers had found the Obama-era items stored in the garage of his home.

Graeme Massie reports.

Biden clashes with Doocy after he’s asked about classified documents

Citing ‘differences’, Bannon’s lawyers ask to quit

11:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Steve Bannon’s lawyers want out of his border-wall fraud case, telling a judge Thursday that he is unwilling to speak with them directly and that they have “irreconcilable” differences about how to proceed.

Bannon, a conservative rabble-rouser and longtime ally of former President Donald Trump, has until a Feb. 28 hearing to find new counsel, Judge Juan Manuel Merchan said. His current lawyers, David Schoen and John Mitchell, must stay on the case until then, the judge said.

Bannon's lawyers ask to quit wall case, citing 'differences'

Report: Trump allies floating Tulsi Gabbard as 2024 running mate

10:00 , Oliver O'Connell

In an attempt to boost interest in former President Donald Trump’s 2024 campaign for the White House, some allies are reportedly thinking of suggesting candidates to be his running mate, according to a new report, despite the fact that the Republican nominee won’t be chosen until the summer of next year.

Donald Trump allies floating Tulsi Gabbard as 2024 running mate, report says

Who is in the running to be Trump’s VP pick for 2024?

08:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Now that Donald Trump has officially kicked off his third campaign for the presidency, one of the few certainties about what he will do if he wins the GOP nomination in 2024 is that he won’t be running with his former vice president, Mike Pence.

Andrew Feinberg and Gustaf Kilander take a look at who might be up for consideration.

Who could Donald Trump pick as vice president in 2024?

Trump attacks ‘thug’ special counsel investigating him

06:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump has attacked the special counsel investigating him in vicious and personal terms in a new multi-part rant on Truth Social.

Calling special counsel Jack Smith a “thug”, Mr Trump also attacked the prosecutor’s wife.

David Taintor reports.

Trump attacks special counsel investigating him in vicious and personal tirade

Trump to hold first public 2024 campaign event in South Carolina

04:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Former President Donald Trump is planning to hold the first public campaign event of his 2024 White House bid in the early-voting state of South Carolina.

Campaign spokesperson Steven Cheung told The Associated Press on Thursday that Trump will visit South Carolina later this month. No other details were immediately announced.

Trump to hold first public 2024 campaign event in SC

How Biden’s classified document haul rocked Washington

03:00 , Oliver O'Connell

When the news first broke, a sense of deja vu seemed to wash over the nation’s capital.

John Bowden and Abe Asher report on what happened next.

How Biden’s classified document haul rocked Washington

GOP lawmakers who stayed silent on Trump classified papers now slam Biden

02:00 , Oliver O'Connell

A number of Republican politicians who tried to dismiss the discovery of classified materials during an FBI raid of Mar-a-Lago are now claiming to be outraged by a similar situation that has arisen with the discovery of classified materials by Joe Biden’s attorneys at a DC think tank.

It’s a sudden change of heart that reveals the very political side of Washington politicians’ response to allegations of mismanagement by one of their own.

John Bowden reports from Washington, DC.

Republicans who stayed silent on Trump taking classified documents now slam Biden

‘Classified’ synonymous with ‘controversy’ in Washington, DC

01:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Hillary Clinton’s presidential dreams were undermined by her use of a private email server that included classified information.

Donald Trump has risked criminal charges by refusing to return top-secret records to the government after leaving the White House.

And now misplaced files with classified markings could cause a political headache for President Joe Biden.

The three situations are far from equivalent. But taken together, they represent a remarkable stretch in which document management has been a recurring source of controversy at the highest levels of American politics.

In Washington, 'classified' is synonymous with 'controversy'

Trump accused of having ‘racist obsession’ with Elaine Chao

00:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump has been accused of having a “racist obsession” with former cabinet member Elaine Chao after repeatedly posting an offensive nickname for her on Truth Social.

Graeme Massie reports.

Trump accused of having ‘racist obsession’ with former cabinet secretary Elaine Chao

Read the fake resume that propelled George Santos into the House

Thursday 12 January 2023 23:00 , Oliver O'Connell

George Santos’s resume, which features a number of lies about his past, has been revealed as he rejects calls from New York Republicans to resign.

The Long Island representative sent in the resume to the Nassau County Republican Committee when he first revealed his interest in running for a House seat in the 2020 election.

The local committee sent Mr Santos a vetting questionnaire and requested to see his qualifications. Mr Santos handed over a two-page document, obtained by The New York Times.

Gustaf Kilander takes a look at some of the claims he made.

George Santos resume revealed – with a litany of lies

Watch: Paul Ryan says Trump ‘fading fast’ and ‘proven loser’

Thursday 12 January 2023 22:25 , Oliver O'Connell

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Profile: Robert Hur, special counsel tasked with overseeing Biden classified papers probe

Thursday 12 January 2023 22:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Who is Robert Hur, the special counsel overseeing Biden classified documents probe?

GOP split on how to tackle revelations about Biden documents

Thursday 12 January 2023 21:45 , Oliver O'Connell

The new House Republican majority is split about the response they want to see to President Joe Biden’s handling of classified documents after his personal lawyers announced they had discovered more classified documents in the garage of his home in Delaware.

Eric Garcia and Andrew Feinberg have the latest from Washington, DC.

House Republicans split on how to tackle revelations about Biden documents

Proud Boys trial: Enrique Tarrio’s attorney blames Trump for ‘unleashing the mob’

Thursday 12 January 2023 21:29 , Oliver O'Connell

A defense attorney for former longtime Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio blamed former president Donald Trump for “unleashing that mob” on 6 January 2021, as a crowd of his supporters stormed the US Capitol.

Sabino Jauregui – whose client is charged with seditious conspiracy along with four other members of the far-right nationalist gang – said it was Mr Trump who told his supporters to march to the Capitol and “fight like hell,” not Tarrio or members of his group.

Graig Graziosi and Alex Woodward are following the trial for The Independent.

Enrique Tarrio’s attorney blames Trump for ‘unleashing the mob’ on January 6

Trump allies floating Tulsi Gabbard as 2024 running mate

Thursday 12 January 2023 21:15 , Oliver O'Connell

In an attempt to boost interest in former President Donald Trump’s 2024 campaign for the White House, some allies are reportedly thinking of suggesting candidates to be his running mate, according to a new report.

This is happening despite the fact that the Republican nominee won’t be chosen until the summer of next year.

Gustaf Kilander reports from Washington, DC.

Donald Trump allies floating Tulsi Gabbard as 2024 running mate, report says

Watch: White House responds to questions on Biden classified papers

Thursday 12 January 2023 21:00 , Oliver O'Connell

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With Trump-Pence no more, who will Donald pick in 2024?

Thursday 12 January 2023 20:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Now that Donald Trump has officially kicked off his third campaign for the presidency, one of the few certainties about what he will do if he wins the GOP nomination in 2024 is that he won’t be running with his former vice president, Mike Pence.

Not only has Mr Pence said he is giving “prayerful consideration” to declaring himself a presidential candidate in the next general election, but the Trump-Pence relationship has not been strong since the former vice president refused to hijack certification of electoral votes, leading to the January 6 attack on the Capitol.

According to reporting in Politico and other news outlets, the twice-impeached ex-president who stood atop the 2020 GOP ticket is now looking for a far more subservient partner than the former Indiana governor, whose selection as his running mate in 2016 was driven by a desire to reassure social conservatives that Mr Trump was on board with their programme despite his history as an abortion-friendly Democratic donor.

But who will it be in 2024 and what criteria are there?

Who could Donald Trump pick as vice president in 2024?

Proud Boys rallied crowd to ‘take the f***ing Capitol’, prosecutors say

Thursday 12 January 2023 20:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Members of the far-right nationalist gang the Proud Boys rallied a crowd to “take the f****** Capitol” as a joint session of Congress convened to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election on 6 January, 2021.

In opening arguments in a trial for five members of the group charged with seditious conspiracy for their actions leading up to and during the attack, federal prosecutors showed video taken roughly 20 minutes before then-President Donald Trump addressed his supporters at a nearby rally.

Assistant US Attorney Jason McCullough said the group did not intend to listen to the president’s speech; they had always planned to lead a crowd to the Capitol to forcibly stop the transfer of presidential power.

Graig Graziosi and Alex Woodward are following the trial for The Independent and filed this report.

Proud Boys rallied to ‘take the f****** Capitol’ before Trump’s speech, trial hears

Citing differences, Steve Bannon’s lawyers ask to quit wall case

Thursday 12 January 2023 20:03 , Oliver O'Connell

Steve Bannon’s lawyers want out of his border-wall fraud case, telling a judge on Thursday that he is unwilling to speak with them directly and that they have “irreconcilable” differences about how to proceed.

Mr Bannon, a conservative rabble-rouser and longtime ally of former President Donald Trump, has until a Feb. 28 hearing to find new counsel, Judge Juan Manuel Merchan said. His current lawyers, David Schoen and John Mitchell, must stay on the case until then, the judge said.

Read on:

Bannon's lawyers ask to quit wall case, citing 'differences'

Full story: Trump attacks ‘thug’ special counsel Jack Smith

Thursday 12 January 2023 19:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump has attacked the special counsel investigating him in vicious and personal terms in a new multi-part rant on Truth Social.

Calling special counsel Jack Smith a “thug”, Mr Trump also attacked the prosecutor’s wife.

David Taintor reports.

Trump attacks special counsel investigating him in vicious and personal tirade

George Santos bizarrely says he’ll resign if 142 people ask him to — he has been inundated with offers

Thursday 12 January 2023 19:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Embattled New York Congressman George Santos has so far refused to bow to pressure to step aside after fabricating major parts of his resume.

On Thursday, New York Republicans called on Mr Santos to resign. “He’s disgraced the House of Representatives and we do not consider him one of our congresspeople,” Nassau County Republican Party chairman Joseph Cairo said in a press conference.

Mr Santos remained defiant. But on Thursday, he told reporters that he would step down if “142 people ask for me to resign”.

Read on:

Santos inundated with offers after saying he’ll resign if 142 people ask him to

Special Counsel Robert Hur releases statement

Thursday 12 January 2023 19:18 , Oliver O'Connell

Following his appointment by Attorney General Merrick Garland today to investigate the discovery of classified documents at properties relating to President Joe Biden, Special Counsel Robert Hur gave this statement:

“I will conduct the assigned investigation with fair, impartial, and dispassionate judgment. I intend to follow the facts swiftly and thoroughly, without fear or favour, and will honour the trust placed in me to perform this service.”

White House responds to appointment of classified documents special counsel

Thursday 12 January 2023 19:10 , Oliver O'Connell

Richard Sauber, special counsel to President Joe Biden, has released the following statement after the announcement from Attorney General Merrick Garland that a special counsel has been appointed to investigate classified documents being found at a DC office and Mr Biden’s Delaware home.

As the President said, he takes classified information and materials seriously, and as we have said, we have cooperated from the moment we informed the Archives that a small number of documents were found, and we will continue to cooperate. We have cooperated closely with the Justice Department throughout its review, and we will continue that cooperation with the Special Counsel. We are confident that a thorough review will show that these documents were inadvertently misplaced, and the President and his lawyers acted promptly upon discovery of this mistake.

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Watch: Biden talks about classified papers found in garage

Thursday 12 January 2023 19:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Full story: Garland appoints special counsel to supervise Biden classified documents probe

Thursday 12 January 2023 18:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Attorney General Merrick Garland has appointed a former Maryland-based federal prosecutor to serve as a special counsel who will supervise the department’s probe into how classified documents ended up in two locations linked to President Joe Biden.

Mr Garland announced on Thursday that he was naming Robert Hur, a a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of the Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher law firm who served as the US Attorney for Maryland from 2018 to 2021, as a special prosecutor who will operate outside the department’s normal chain of command.

Andrew Feinberg reports from Washington, DC.

Garland appoints special counsel to handle Biden classified documents investigation

New timeline details emerge on Biden classified papers

Thursday 12 January 2023 18:35 , Oliver O'Connell

Attorney General Merrick Garland says on 20 December, the Department of Justice was informed that additional classified documents beyond those found at the Penn Biden Center were discovered in President Joe Biden’s garage in his Wilmington, Delaware, home. The FBI went to the residence and secured the documents.

He adds that just this morning, a personal attorney for the president told US Attorney John Laush that an additional document was found in Mr Biden’s Delaware home. The president has referred to the room adjacent to the garage where this document was found as his “personal library”.

Mr Garland was briefed on 5 January by Mr Laush about the results of his initial review and investigation.

He advised that the appointment of a special counsel was warranted and Mr Garland agreed it was in the public interest to do so.

“The extraordinary circumstances here require the appointment of a special counsel for this matter,” Mr Garland said. “This appointment underscores for the public the department’s commitment to both independence and accountability.”

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Merrick Garland names special counsel to oversee Biden classified papers probe

Thursday 12 January 2023 18:23 , Oliver O'Connell

Attorney General Merrick Garland has appointed Robert Hur as Special Counsel to oversee the investigation into the classified documents found in a Washington, DC, office and at President Joe Biden’s Wilmington, Delaware home from the time when he was vice president.

Mr Hur is a former Trump-appointed US Attorney for Maryland, who served from 2018 to 2021.

It is now understood that the second batch of documents found at the Wilmington property was discovered on 20 December 2022.

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With Merrick Garland about to speak, Trump weighs in

Thursday 12 January 2023 18:19 , Oliver O'Connell

The former president posted on Truth Social:

Merrick Garland has to immediately end Special Counsel investigation into anything related to me because I did everything right, and appoint a Special Counsel to investigate Joe Biden who hates Biden as much as Jack Smith hates me.

Why five Proud Boys are on trial two years after January 6

Thursday 12 January 2023 18:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Alex Woodward explains how and why members of the far-right Proud Boys gang, including its former leader Enrique Tarrio, face up to 20 years in prison if convicted of seditious conspiracy for their roles in the Capitol attack.

‘Burn that city to ash’: Why five Proud Boys are on trial two years after January 6

Former Jan 6 committee chair contacted by Brazilian officials

Thursday 12 January 2023 17:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Bennie Thompson, the former chair of the House January 6 select committee, has been contacted by Brazilian officials to discuss the riot that unfolded in Brasilia that has been compared to the attack on the US Capitol in 2021.

Citing a source familiar with the details, Annie Grayer of CNN reports that no discussions have occurred yet.

In a statement to CNN, Mr Thompson said: “I agree with our friends from Brazil that attacks on democratic institutions are not acceptable and must be condemned ... If serves as a model for similar investigations, I will help out in any way possible.”

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White House says small number classified documents found in Biden’s garage

Thursday 12 January 2023 17:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Obama-era documents bearing classification markings were found among stored papers and items in President Joe Biden’s Wilmington, Delaware home during a search by his personal attorneys, the White House has said.

Andrew Feinberg reports from Washington, DC.

White House says classified documents found in Biden’s garage

Trump to hit 2024 campaign trail in South Carolina later this month

Thursday 12 January 2023 16:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Former President Donald Trump is planning to hold the first public campaign event of his 2024 White House bid in the early-voting state of South Carolina.

Campaign spokesperson Steven Cheung told The Associated Press on Thursday that Trump will visit South Carolina later this month. No other details were immediately announced.

Trump to hold first public 2024 campaign event in SC

GOP lawmakers call for special counsel in tit-for-tat over Biden classified papers

Thursday 12 January 2023 16:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Republican senators are demanding that Attorney General Merrick Garland name a special prosecutor to investigate how Obama-era documents bearing classification markings ended up in two locations linked to President Joe Biden.

Andrew Feinberg reports for The Independent from Washington, DC.

Republicans call for special counsel in tit-for-tat over Biden document finds

Trump launches vicious personal tirade against ‘thug’ special counsel investigating him

Thursday 12 January 2023 15:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump has attacked the special counsel investigating him in vicious and personal terms in a new multi-part rant on Truth Social.

Calling special counsel Jack Smith a “thug”, Mr Trump also attacked the prosecutor’s wife.

David Taintor reports.

Trump attacks special counsel investigating him in vicious and personal tirade

Biden special counsel reveals details of second set of classified documents

Thursday 12 January 2023 15:28 , Oliver O'Connell

Richard Sauber, special counsel to the president, has released a statement saying that President Joe Biden’s lawyers found “a small number” of documents with classification markings in his Wilmington house's garage, and one more document in “an adjacent room” in storage.

Here’s the full statement:

As we stated previously, we are fully cooperating with the National Archives and the Department of Justice in a process to ensure that any Obama-Biden Administration records are appropriately in possession of the Archives.

Following the discovery of government documents at the Penn Biden Center in November 2022, and coordinating closely with the Department of Justice, the President's lawyers have searched the President's Wilmington and Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, residences - the other locations where files from his Vice-Presidential office might have been shipped in the course of the 2017 transition. The lawyers completed that review last night.

During the review, the lawyers discovered among personal and political papers a small number of additional Obama-Biden Administration records with classified markings. All but one of these documents were found in storage space in the President's Wilmington residence garage. One document consisting of one page was discovered among stored materials in an adjacent room. No documents were found in the Rehoboth Beach residence.

As was done in the case of the Penn-Biden Center, the Department of Justice was immediately notified, and the lawyers arranged for the Department of Justice to take possession of these documents.

The White House will continue to cooperate with the review by the Department of Justice.

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What is the key difference between Biden and Trump’s classified papers?

Thursday 12 January 2023 15:00 , Oliver O'Connell

News analysis: Andrew Feinberg explains how President Joe Biden’s attorneys reacted to discovering documents with classification markings in a locked office once used by the president will go a long way toward keeping the Department of Justice off his back.

The key difference between Biden and Trump’s classified papers

Trump’s defamation lawsuit claims CNN tried to ‘sabotage’ campaign with comparisons to Hitler and Nazism

Thursday 12 January 2023 14:30 , Rachel Sharp

Donald Trump’s defamation lawsuit against CNN accuses the network of baselessly comparing the former president and his Make America Great Again movement to the rise of Nazism in 1930s Germany.

But the former president’s lawyers have unironically suggested in a recent filing that journalists are “an enemy of democracy” and invited the courts to strip First Amendment protections by revisiting landmark precedent in a decades-old US Supreme Court case, with Mr Trump’s lawsuit providing a “perfect vehicle” to tear it down.

The lawsuit also suggests that the network is responsible for the “rise of disinformation” without addressing Mr Trump’s own wave of bogus claims, including the so-called “big lie” baselessly alleging a conspiracy theory to steal the 2020 presidential election from him, a phrase that is central to his battle with the news network.

The Independent’s Alex Woodward has the full story:

Trump’s defamation suit claims CNN tried to ‘sabotage’ him with Hitler comparisons

Georgia lawmakers push back on testifying in Trump probe

Thursday 12 January 2023 14:00 , Rachel Sharp

Georgia state lawmakers are pushing back on a state court ruling that forced some of them to testify during an investigation into whether former President Donald Trump and others illegally tried to influence the 2020 election in the state.

The state House and Senate adopted rules Wednesday that say legislative privilege — a legal concept rooted in the U.S. and Georgia constitutions that says lawmakers shouldn’t face questioning for activities relating to making laws — should shield communications with people outside the legislature. Most majority Republicans voted in favor and most Democrats voted against.

Crucially, the language is only part of legislative rules. It’s not clear if it would hold up in court, and judges nationwide have typically limited sweeping claims of legislative privilege.

Read more here:

Georgia lawmakers push back on testifying in Trump probe

Trump’s ‘stand back and stand by’ comments allowed in court at Proud Boys’ trial

Thursday 12 January 2023 13:30 , Rachel Sharp

Donald Trump’s comments telling the far-right hate group the Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by” are likely to come up in the trial against several of the group’s leaders.

During a presidential debate with Joe Biden in 2020, Mr Trumo said: “Proud Boys – stand back and stand by. But I’ll tell you what. I’ll tell you what. Somebody’s got to do something about Antifa and the left because this is not a right-wing problem.”

On Wednesday, a federal judge ruled that prosecutors can use the footage of the then-president making the inflammatory comments during the trial of five members of the far-right group.

District Judge Timothy Kelly said that the comments show “an additional motive to advocate for Mr Trump (and) engage in the charged conspiracy” to try to stop the certification of the electoral college votes in favour of President Joe Biden.

Former group leader Enrique Tarrio and four others have been charged with seditious conspiracy and other crimes over the 6 January Capitol riots. The trial starts on Thursday.

ICYMI: Trump’s longtime CFO Allen Weisselberg to be jailed for five months for tax fraud scheme

Thursday 12 January 2023 13:00 , Alex Woodward

The former longtime chief financial officer of the Trump Organization has been sentenced to five months in jail after pleading guilty to several tax crimes stemming from a sweeping investigation into Donald Trump’s business empire.

Allen Weisselberg pleaded guilty to 15 violations of New York tax law in August after prosecutors accused him of participating in a years-long “systemic” fraud scheme and a “sweeping and audacious illegal payment” arrangement in which Trump companies paid him generous benefits – including free rent, luxury car leases, and private school tuition for his grandchildren – that were not reported for tax purposes.

Read more:

Trump’s longtime chief financial officer jailed for five months for tax fraud scheme

Trump continues to fume over Biden documents

Thursday 12 January 2023 12:40 , Rachel Sharp

Donald Trump continues to fume about the discovery of classified documents from President Joe Biden’s time as vice president at a think tank in Washington DC.

In a Truth Social post on Wednesday, he hit out at Karl Rove after the Fox News contributor pointed out key differences between the discoveries of documents associated with Mr Biden and Mr Trump.

“Karl Rove was, as usual, wrong when he stated that then V.P. Biden’s HIGHLY CONFIDENTIAL papers, which were in his office for many years, were in any way similar to the Secret Service guarded, & otherwise very secure, Mar-a-Lago papers,” he wrote.

Late on Wednesday night, he then took to Truth Social again, posting a video of a Tucker Carlson monologue about the documents discoverye.

Alabama attorney general could prosecute women who take abortion drugs. Opponents say it’s ‘plainly unlawful’

Thursday 12 January 2023 12:00 , Alex Woodward

Days after the federal agencies made it easier to access abortion pills, Alabama’s chief law enforcement officer said women who use abortion medication can be prosecuted.

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall said the state could prosecute people who use abortion drugs not under the state’s anti-abortion law but with an older “chemical endangerment of a child” statute initially designed to protect children from meth lab fumes.

The state’s Human Life Protection Act, enacted in the aftermath of the US Supreme Court decision to strike down Roe v Wade and a constitutional right to abortion care, outlaws nearly all abortions and criminalizes providers. It explicitly exempts abortion patients from prosecution.

Read more:

Women who take abortion pills can be prosecuted, Alabama attorney general says

Trump accused of having ‘racist obsession’ with Elaine Chao after repeatedly posting offensive nickname

Thursday 12 January 2023 11:38 , Rachel Sharp

Donald Trump has been accused of having a “racist obsession” with former cabinet member Elaine Chao after repeatedly posting an offensive nickname for her on Truth Social.

Trump tormenter George Conway posted eight screen grabs of posts the one-term president has made in the last two weeks about Mitch McConnell’s Taiwan-born wife.

“Trump’s racist obsession with Elaine Chao is really something. Almost every day now he mentions her,” tweeted Mr Conway, who is Kellyanne Conway’s husband, on Wednesday.

Read more here:

Trump accused of having ‘racist obsession’ with former cabinet secretary Elaine Chao

Voices: Biden needs to apologise about the classified documents

Thursday 12 January 2023 11:00 , Rachel Sharp

Joe Biden needs to apologise immediately.

He should call the Washington press corps to the East Room of the White House and say that he is sorry.

He should make clear he does not know how classified material was discovered in an office he once used after leaving the vice presidency, but that now, as president, the buck stops with him.

He should then shut up about the matter, at least until the investigation ordered by Attorney General Merrick Garland into what happened, is completed.

What Biden should not do is what he did in Mexico City earlier this week, at a joint press conference with the leaders of Canada and Mexico, and waffle on about how surprised he was, but that he was taking the matter seriously.

Opinion: Biden needs to apologise about those classified documents immediately

Trump 2024 campaign officials face fresh Jan 6 subpoenas

Thursday 12 January 2023 10:30 , Rachel Sharp

Officials working on Donald Trump’s third campaign for the White House have been slapped with fresh subpoenas as part of the Justice Department’s investigation into the January 6 riot at the US Capitol, it has been revealed.

The staffers received the subpoenas early last month requiring them to hand over information on more than 20 different subjects, according to The Washington Post.

Among the information requested is any communications about the Dominion and Smartmatic voting machines.

The voting machine companies were the targets of baseless, right-wing conspiracy theories about election fraud.

The DOJ is also requesting information about organisations associated with Mr Trump and details about whether a third party is paying for the legal representation of the individuals subpoenaed.

Does the classified papers stash make Biden as bad as Trump? Here is the key difference

Thursday 12 January 2023 10:00 , Andrew Feinberg

To hear Republicans react to reports that attorneys working for President Joe Biden had discovered — and promptly reported — the presence of documents bearing classification markings at a Washington DC think tank where he kept an office before launching his 2020 presidential campaign, one might think Christmas came early in the new year.

But there remains a key difference between the two cases:

The key difference between Biden and Trump’s classified papers

Why five Proud Boys are on trial two years after January 6

Thursday 12 January 2023 09:30 , Alex Woodward

Two days before the attack on the US Capitol, the now-former chairman of the far-right nationalist gang the Proud Boys was arrested in Washington DC moments after stepping off a plane from Miami.

Enrique Tarrio was wanted by police after he admitted to tearing down and burning a Black Lives Matter flag outside a historically Black church in the nation’s capital during December riots connected to a protest supporting Donald Trump’s bogus claims that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from him.

On 6 January, 2021, Tarrio watched the insurrection unfold from a hotel in Baltimore. Two years later, he is among five members of the self-described “Western chauvinist” gang charged with seditious conspiracy in connection with the mob’s assault.

After jurors found two members of the far-right militia group the Oath Keepersguilty of seditious conspiracy against the government in November, federal prosecutors are now hoping to convict another high-profile group of rioters connected to the January 6 assault.

Read more:

‘Burn that city to ash’: Why five Proud Boys are on trial two years after January 6

Every lie disgraced incoming Congressman George Santos has been accused of making, so far

Thursday 12 January 2023 08:30 , John Bowden

It can be difficult keeping up with the list of fictions that George Santos has been accused of telling, admitted telling, or merely been caught spinning red-handed following a contradictory statement.

But, do not fret: The Independent is here, and we’re keeping track of the whole list of lies even as it continues to grow — both in number and in the sheer scale of the humiliation that it presents for not just Mr Santos, who remains adamant that he will serve two years in office as representative for New York’s third district, but for the Republican House caucus as a whole.

Home state Republicans and Democrats alike are calling for his resignation from Congress while major conservative groups are vowing not to work with him. Still, he has found a niche for himself among the GOP’s far-right Maga caucus, among fellows like Marjorie Taylor Greene and Matt Gaetz.

Read more:

Every lie disgraced incoming Congressman George Santos has been accused of

Republicans blame poor border security for America’s fentanyl crisis, but experts tell a different story

Thursday 12 January 2023 07:30 , Richard Hall

Joe Biden arrived in Mexico this week for a summit with president Andres Manuel López Obrador aimed at addressing the record amounts of illicit fentanyl being smuggled across the border into the US.

The fentanyl crisis has wreaked havoc in the United States, turning an already catastrophic opioid epidemic even deadlier. Of the estimated 107,622 fatal drug overdoses in the US in 2021 — the highest number ever recorded — fentanyl was responsible for two thirds of deaths.

Republicans have sought to cast the fentanyl deaths as a border security problem, and blamed Mr Biden for not stopping shipments from coming into the country. That claim became a key theme of November’s midterm attacks on Democrats.

Read more:

Is an ‘open border’ to blame for America’s fentanyl crisis?

Trump lashes out after Fox analyst compares Biden think tank documents to FBI’s Mar-a-Lago haul

Thursday 12 January 2023 06:30 , Andrew Feinberg

A comparison of the dozen Obama-era documents at a Washington DC think once used by Joe Biden lawyers with the massive cache of classified material retrieved during an FBI search of former president Donald Trump’s home has left the twice-impeached ex-president more than a bit irate.

Mr Trump took to his Truth Social platform to lash out at Karl Rove, the former George W Bush White House official and GOP strategist, after Mr Rove unfavourably compared the matter of the ongoing probe into Mr Trump’s alleged unlawful retention of national defence information with the review of what Mr Biden’s lawyers reported to the National Archives in November.

Speaking on Fox News late Tuesday, Mr Rove said the “differences” between the two cases are significant.

Read more:

Trump lashes out after Fox analyst compares Biden documents to FBI’s Mar-a-Lago haul

GOP opens long-promised investigation into Biden family

Thursday 12 January 2023 05:30 , Farnoush Amiri

House Republicans on Wednesday opened their long-promised investigation into President Joe Biden and his family, wielding the power of their majority to demand information from the Treasury Department and former Twitter executives as they lay the groundwork for public hearings.

“Now that Democrats no longer have one-party rule in Washington, oversight and accountability are coming,” Rep. James Comer, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, said in a statement.

The Republican-led committee sent a series of letters requesting financial information from the Treasury Department about financial transactions by members of the Biden family that were flagged as suspicious activity. Those reports are routine, with larger financial transactions automatically flagged to the government, and are not evidence on their own of misconduct.

Read more from the AP:

GOP opens long-promised investigation into Biden family

George Santos defiant in face of New York Republicans calling on him to resign

Thursday 12 January 2023 03:30 , Andrew Feinberg

Representative George Santos is refusing to heed calls for his resignation from top figures in the Nassau County Republican Party who have demanded he step down from Congress just days after he was sworn in to represent New York’s third Congressional District.

Asked whether he would resign in light of the numerous scandals surrounding him, he told ABC News on Wednesday: “I will not”.

In a tweet posted later that day, he doubled down on his recalcitrance, writing that he “was elected to serve the people of [the third Congressional District] not the party [and] politicians”.

Read more:

George Santos defiant in face of New York Republicans calling on him to resign

GOP pushes abortion restrictions as they begin new Congress

Thursday 12 January 2023 01:30 , Mary Clare Jalonick

House Republicans are moving toward early action on abortion with their new majority, voting on two measures Wednesday that make clear they want further restraints after the Supreme Court overruled the federal right to an abortion last year.

The new GOP-led House is voting on one resolution to condemn attacks on anti-abortion facilities, including pregnancy crisis centers, and on legislation that would impose penalties if a doctor refused to care for an infant born alive after an abortion attempt.

Neither is expected to pass the Democratic-led Senate, but Republicans say they are making good on promises to address the issue along with other legislative priorities in the first days in power.

Read more from the AP:

Republicans push anti-abortion measures with new majority

Georgia lawmakers push back on testifying in Trump probe

Thursday 12 January 2023 00:30 , Jeff Amy

Georgia state lawmakers are pushing back on a state court ruling that forced some of them to testify during an investigation into whether former President Donald Trump and others illegally tried to influence the 2020 election in the state.

The state House and Senate adopted rules Wednesday that say legislative privilege — a legal concept rooted in the U.S. and Georgia constitutions that says lawmakers shouldn’t face questioning for activities relating to making laws — should shield communications with people outside the legislature. Most majority Republicans voted in favor and most Democrats voted against.

Read more from the AP:

Georgia lawmakers push back on testifying in Trump probe

How the gas stove became the newest player in the Republican culture war

Wednesday 11 January 2023 23:30 , Gustaf Kilander

Republicans have chosen a ubiquitous kitchen appliance as their freshest source of fury in the culture war – the humble gas stove.

“I’ll NEVER give up my gas stove. If the maniacs in the White House come for my stove, they can pry it from my cold dead hands. COME AND TAKE IT!!” a possibly joking Ronny Jackson, the former presidential physician, now a GOP congressman from Texas, thundered on Twitter on Tuesday.

Read more on the latest front of the right’s culture war:

How the gas stove became the newest player in the Republican culture war

Kevin McCarthy: George Santos won’t be expelled

Wednesday 11 January 2023 22:15 , John Bowden

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy spoke to reporters on Wednesday about George Santos, the newly-seated congressman from New York, who has admitted to faking virtually every part of his background.

The GOP leader seemed to dismiss the notion that he would refuse to seat Mr Santos, but a number of Republicans are beginning to say that he should not receive any committee assignments at all. Mr McCarthy himself has said that Mr Santos will not sit on some of the more important panels.

"Is there a charge against him? You know, in America today, you’re innocent until proven guilty,” said Mr McCarthy on Wednesday.

"The voters made the decision and he has a right to serve here," the speaker added.

Trump lashes out after Fox analyst compares Biden think tank documents to FBI’s Mar-a-Lago haul

Wednesday 11 January 2023 21:37 , John Bowden

A comparison of the recent find of a dozen Obama-era documents at a Washington, DC think tank by President Joe Biden’s lawyers with the massive cache of classified material retrieved during an FBI search of former president Donald Trump’s home has left the twice-impeached ex-president more than a bit irate.

Mr Trump took to his Truth Social platform to lash out at Karl Rove, the former George W Bush White House official and GOP strategist, after Mr Rove unfavourably compared the matter of the ongoing probe into Mr Trump’s alleged unlawful retention of national defence information with the review of what Mr Biden’s lawyers reported to the National Archives in November.

Andrew Feinberg has more:

Trump lashes out after Fox analyst compares Biden documents to FBI’s Mar-a-Lago haul

Trump releases video rehashing beef with FBI

Wednesday 11 January 2023 20:36 , John Bowden

Donald Trump released a video message to his supporters and followers on Truth Social Wednesday afternoon in which he rambled for several minutes about a supposed massive campaign of censorship against “the American people and frankly, against me.”

In the video, Mr Trump speaks over an American flag background for several minutes about how the nation’s highest law enforcement agency is supposedly working with “high-placed” former defence officials at various social media platforms to silence dissenting opinions on his election fraud conspiracies and a wide range of other issues.

ICYMI:

Wednesday 11 January 2023 20:00 , John Bowden

The former longtime chief financial officer of the Trump Organization has been sentenced to five months in jail after pleading guilty to several tax crimes stemming from a sweeping investigation into Donald Trump’s business empire.

Allen Weisselberg pleaded guilty to 15 violations of New York tax law in August after prosecutors accused him of participating in a years-long “systemic” fraud scheme and a “sweeping and audacious illegal payment” arrangement in which Trump companies paid him generous benefits – including free rent, luxury car leases, and private school tuition for his grandchildren – that were not reported for tax purposes.

Alex Woodward has been following the trial for The Independent.

Trump’s longtime chief financial officer jailed for five months for tax fraud scheme

‘Burn that city to ash’: Why five Proud Boys are on trial two years after January 6

Wednesday 11 January 2023 19:30 , John Bowden

On 6 January, 2021, Proud Boys founder Enrique Tarrio watched the insurrection unfold from a hotel in Baltimore. Two years later, he is among five members of the self-described “Western chauvinist” gang charged with seditious conspiracy in connection with the mob’s assault.

After jurors found two members of the far-right militia group the Oath Keepersguilty of seditious conspiracy against the government in November, federal prosecutors are now hoping to convict another high-profile group of rioters connected to the January 6 assault.

The Independent is following this high-profile case:

‘Burn that city to ash’: Why five Proud Boys are on trial two years after January 6

Dr Oz campaign ended with tens of millions in debt

Wednesday 11 January 2023 19:00 , John Bowden

Dr Mehmet Oz’s failed bid for US Senate in Pennsylvania ended with the campaign more than $27m in debt, mostly the result of loans cut by Dr Oz himself.

It will be difficult for him to raise any money to cover those debts, meaning that the Trump-backed bid to protect GOP control of Pennsylvania’s Senate seat amounted to a massive financial loss for the candidate himself.

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Before his popular daytime show ended in 2022, Dr Oz was pulling in around $20m yearly according to financial disclosure forms filed as part of his Senate run.

George Santos remains defiant amid new calls for his ouster

Wednesday 11 January 2023 18:31 , John Bowden

Embattled Congressman George Santos tweeted that he would not resign on Wednesday after the chairman of his home county’s Republican Party organisation disavowed him and called for him to step down at a fiery press conference.

“I was elected to serve the people of #NY03 not the party & politicians, I remain committed to doing that and regret to hear that local officials refuse to work with my office to deliver results to keep our community safe and lower the cost of living,” wrote the newly-seated congressman.

He added: “I will NOT resign!”

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Nassau GOP chairman unloads on George Santos

Wednesday 11 January 2023 17:45 , John Bowden

Joseph Cairo, chairman of the Nassau County Republican Party, was unsparing of his criticism of George Santos at a press conference on Wednesday.

“He has no place in the Nassau County Republican Party, nor should he serve in public service or as an elected official. He’s disgraced the House of Representatives and we do not consider him one of our congresspeople,” the chairman said.

“By all accounts, he seems incapable and unwilling to take full responsibility for his lies and fabrications. Beyond all that, he is under local, state and federal investigations as serious questions have arisen about his campaign finances. There’s absolutely no way Mr. Santos can be an effective member of congress of Congress and represent the people who elected him. The longer he remains in office, the longer the residents of the Third Congressional District will suffer,” Mr Cairo added.

George Santos defiant in face of New York Republicans calling on him to resign

Nassau County GOP calls for George Santos to step down from Congress

Wednesday 11 January 2023 16:56 , John Bowden

The Republican Party of Nassau County, New York, has called on George Santos to resign from Congress.

It’s a major move to sever ties from the top GOP organisation in Mr Santos’s district — and will make reelection a massive undertaking, given the likelihood that the local party will field a challenger against him.

"George Santos' campaign last year was a campaign of deceit, lies and fabrication," the party’s chairman said on Wednesday at a press conference.

Trump lashes out after Fox analyst compares Biden think tank documents to FBI’s Mar-a-Lago haul

Wednesday 11 January 2023 16:05 , John Bowden

A comparison of the recent find of a dozen Obama-era documents at a Washington, DC think tank by President Joe Biden’s lawyers with the massive cache of classified material retrieved during an FBI search of former president Donald Trump’s home has left the twice-impeached ex-president more than a bit irate.

Mr Trump took to his Truth Social platform to lash out at Karl Rove, the former George W Bush White House official and GOP strategist, after Mr Rove unfavourably compared the matter of the ongoing probe into Mr Trump’s alleged unlawful retention of national defence information with the review of what Mr Biden’s lawyers reported to the National Archives in November.

Andrew Feinberg has more:

Trump lashes out after Fox analyst compares Biden documents to FBI’s Mar-a-Lago haul

Another racist Trump attack against Mitch McConnell’s wife

Wednesday 11 January 2023 15:45 , John Bowden

Donald Trump launched another Truth Social barrage against Joe Biden over his admission that roughly a dozen classified documents were found at his DC-based think tank. And this time, he’s dragging in to the story Elaine Chao, his former secretary of Transportation.

It’s totally unclear why she would have anything to do with this story, but that didn’t stop Mr Trump from launching one of his trademark racist attacks against his own ex-secretary.

“Biden’s documents are HIGHLY CONFIDENTIAL, many pertain to UKRAINE, where Hunter was “raking in the dough,” and FUNDED BY CHINA, which gave $55 Million to Biden, through Penn, and probably had easy access. Was the Old Crow’s boss, China loving Coco Chow, involved? Just asking?” Mr Trump wrote.

Click here to read the full blog on The Independent's website