Trump says there were no documents found at Mar-a-Lago, just ‘cool’ empty folders marked classified
A judge in Georgia is set to hear arguments on Tuesday over the public release of a grand jury report following an eight-month probe into Donald Trump’s attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 election in that state.
The panel heard testimony and evidence about the abuse and harassment of election workers, a fake elector scheme, and Mr Trump’s infamous phone call to election officials to “find” enough votes for his victory.
Meanwhile, Mr Trump – who appears ready to ditch his Truth Social posting regimen and return to Twitter as he seeks the 2024 Republican nomination for president – is facing questions after posing for a photograph and flashing “thumbs up” with a notorious Philadelphia mob boss at his Trump International Golf Club West Palm Beach earlier this month.
Joey “Skinny Joe” Merlino was imprisoned for nearly 12 years after he was convicted in 2001 of racketeering charges including extortion, bookmaking and receiving stolen property.
Kevin McCarthy’s gushing statement about Marjorie Taylor Greene revealed
Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy reportedly said that he would never abandon far-right US Rep Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia after she whipped votes to help him gain the speakership earlier this month, according to The New York Times.
Ms Greene stood beside Mr McCarthy throughout the marathon 15 votes to finally clinch the gavel even as some of her fellow conservatives and members of the House Freedom Caucus such as Representatives Lauren Boebert of Colorado, Bob Good of Virginia and Matt Gaetz of Florida opposed him.
Read what Mr McCarthy reportedly told those closest to him about her relationship with the Congresswoman Greene:
Alex Woodward24 January 2023 03:00
ICYMI: Trump may need to wait months for Twitter return due to Truth Social contract
Trump is subject to a “social media exclusivity” clause that requires him to post “any and all social media communications” to his Truth Social account for six hours before posting to rival platforms, recently uncovered filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission reveal.
The six-month rolling contract runs out in June and Trump does not plan to renew it, sources told Rolling Stone, as he plans to use all channels available for his 2024 presidential campaign.
From The Independent’s Tech desk:
Alex Woodward24 January 2023 02:00
ICYMI: Trump campaign denies he knew convicted mob boss he posed with in photo
On Monday, The Philadelphia Inquirer published a photograph it obtained of the former president, clad in dark pants, a white golf shirt and his signature “Make America Great Again” headgear, standing between two men at his Florida golf club.
One of those men appears to be Joseph Merlino, a convicted felon who ran the Philadelphia mob in the 1990s, when Mr Trump was best known as a New York real estate developer and Atlantic City, New Jersey casino proprietor.
Alex Woodward24 January 2023 01:00
Special report: In George Santos’s district, setting of The Great Gatsby, cries of ‘imposter’ abound
George Santos rose to power by courting the same Long Island elite that Jay Gatsby fooled in F Scott Fitzgerald’s novel, but the residents he represents see him as a Great American Nightmare, The Independent’s Richard Hall reports from New York.
Alex Woodward24 January 2023 00:00
ICYMI: Four more Oath Keepers convicted of seditious conspiracy for Jan 6 attack
Within a year, 10 people have been convicted of seditious conspiracy for their roles in the attack on the US Capitol on 6 January, 2021 – an otherwise rare charge in US history that was initially aimed at prosecuting secessionists in slaveholding states.
On Monday, four more members of the far-right self-appointed militia group the Oath Keepers were found guilty of seditious conspiracy for launching their attack in the halls of Congress, fuelled by Trump’s bogus claims of election fraud.
Their conviction follows the conviction of their leader, Stewart Rhodes, just weeks earlier for the same crime.
They join one other Oath Keepers member convicted of the treason-related charge and three other members who pleaded guilty to the charge in the hopes of receiving a lighter sentence.
Alex Woodward23 January 2023 23:00
Garland defends Justice Department handling of Trump and Biden probes
US Attorney General Merrick Garland has defended the Justice Department’s response as investigators determine how classified materials ended up in Joe Biden’s home and offices, with special counsels leading probes into both the Biden case and Trump’s mishandling of documents discovered at Mar-a-Lago that he fought federal agencies from obtaining.
“We do not have different rules for Democrats or Republicans, different rules for the powerful or the powerless, different rules for the rich and for the poor,” Mr Garland said on Monday.
“We apply the facts, and the law in each case in a neutral, non-partisan manner,” he added. “That is what we always do.”
Alex Woodward23 January 2023 22:15
Will Trump face criminal charges for trying to overturn election results in Georgia?
That’s the question on everyone’s minds as a judge in Georgia prepares to hear arguments about the release of a grand jury’s report, eight months in the making, about the former president’s efforts, with his allies, to subvert the outcome of the 2020 presidential election in the state.
After months of private testimony from Trumpworld figures, the release of the report could trigger a decision from the Fulton County district attorney’s office to seek criminal charges against Trump and others invovled with the scheme, which was central to the House select committee’s investigation in the January 6 attack.
A statement from Trump’s attorneys on Monday said they “have never been a part of this process”.
“The grand jury compelled the testimony of dozens of other, often high-ranking, officials during the investigation, but never found it important to speak with the President,” they added. “He was never subpoenaed nor asked to come in voluntarily by this grand jury or anyone in the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office. Therefore, we can assume that the grand jury did their job and looked at the facts and the law, as we have, and concluded there were no violations of the law by President Trump.”
A group of media outlets have petitioned the court for the public release of the grand jury’s report.
If her office decides to seek charges against Trump, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis would have to take the case to a separate grand jury to present them.
Alex Woodward23 January 2023 22:03
Garland ‘grateful’ for Justice Department team for ‘outsanding work’ leading to Oath Keepers conviction
US Attorney General Merrick Garland thanked members of the Justice Department team that worked on the seditious conspiracy cases against members of the far-right Oath Keepers militia.
“I’m grateful to the prosecutors, agents and staff for their oustanding work in connection with this manner,” he said on Monday.
Alex Woodward23 January 2023 22:00
Oath Keepers attorney says Trump and his allies are ‘morally responsible’ for seditious conspiracy verdict
After a jury found four members of the far-right group the Oath Keepers guilty of sedition-related charges for their roles organising an attack on the US Capitol, a defense attorney for one of the members said Trump and his allies are “morally responsible” for advancing the bogus election fraud claims that fuelled the attack.
Scott Weinberg, an attorney for David Moerschel, said after today’s verdict that the former president and his allies pushed stolen election “nonsense” in advance of the January 6 attack.
Alex Woodward23 January 2023 21:45
Just in: Trump to give keynote address at New Hampshire GOP meeting before South Carolina campaign stop
Trump will head to early-primary state New Hampshire for his surprise first appearance on the 2024 campaign trial, just hours before his planned stop in South Carolina on Saturday.
The former president will deliver remarks to the New Hampshire GOP.
“We are excited to welcome President Trump back to the Granite State to be the keynote speaker at our 2023 Annual Meeting,” according to a statement from New Hampshire Republican Chairman Stephen Stepanek. “President Trump has long been a strong defender of New Hampshire’s First in the Nation Primary Status and we are excited that he will join us to deliver remarks to our Members.”
The state’s three-term Republican governor, Chris Sununu, is a vocal Trump critic who allegedly once called the former president “f****** crazy” and has urged his party to find another candidate in 2024.
“I don’t think he can win in November of ‘24,” he said last month. “He could be the nominee. But I do not believe, and I think most people would agree, he’s just going to … be able to close the deal.”
Alex Woodward23 January 2023 20:58