Donald Trump Announces 2016 White House Bid

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Biden calls MAGA crowd “most extreme political organization in American history”
Author of the article:Denette Wilford
Publishing date:May 04, 2022 • 11 hours ago • 1 minute read • Join the conversation

President Joe Biden referred to the MAGA supporters as “the most extreme political organization” in “recent American history.”


His comment came after he was asked about the U.S. Supreme Court’s leaked draft opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade.

As written, it also tears into landmark LGBTQ civil rights cases.

Biden warned that if Roe v. Wade is struck down, conservatives might try to ban LGBTQ children from classrooms.

“This is about a lot more than abortion,” Biden told reporters. “The idea that somehow there is no right of privacy … What happens if you have a state that changes the law, saying that children who are LGBTQ can’t be in classrooms with other children?”

“Is that legit under the way the decision is written?” he continued. “What are the next things that are going to be attacked?

“Because this MAGA crowd is really the most extreme political organization that’s existed in American history, in recent American history.”



MAGA is short for former U.S. president Donald Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.”

Biden added: “I believe I have the rights that I have not because the government gave them to me… but because I’m just a child of God. I exist.”

Without the Roe precedent, there are 26 states that will likely ban all or most abortions, according to pro-choice policy group Guttmacher Institute.



Five of the nine justices had given their preliminary opinion to overturn Roe, reported Politico.

“Roe was egregiously wrong from the start,’ Justice Samuel Alito wrote. ”We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled. It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”
 

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Trump-backed candidate wins Republican nomination for Ohio U.S. Senate seat
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Eric Cox and Nathan Layne
Publishing date:May 04, 2022 • 1 day ago • 4 minute read • Join the conversation

CINCINNATI — J.D. Vance, a candidate for the U.S. Senate who is backed by Donald Trump, won the Republican primary vote in Ohio on Tuesday, in an early test of the former president’s sway over his party as he eyes a possible White House run in 2024.


Trump upended the Ohio race last month by endorsing author and venture capitalist Vance ahead of the Nov. 8 congressional elections, catapulting him ahead of former state Treasurer Josh Mandel, also a staunch Trump supporter.

With almost all ballots counted, Vance led the Republican field with 32% of the vote, followed by Mandel with 24% and state lawmaker Matt Dolan with 23%, according to Edison Research.

While Vance’s victory is a sign of Trump’s endorsement power, every other major candidate besides Dolan had lobbied for Trump’s support while advocating for his policies and parroting his false claims of widespread fraud in the 2020 election.

“It was a big night for Trumpism in the Ohio Republican Party. Not just in Vance’s win but in a field that was dominated by candidates trying to out-Trump each other,” said University of Cincinnati political science professor David Niven.


“It was still a close race. He wasn’t able to shut this race down with a simple wave of his magic wand.”

Vance, author of the “Hillbilly Elegy” book and a former Trump critic, will face Democratic U.S. Representative Tim Ryan, who won his Senate primary as had been expected.

“I have absolutely gotta thank the 45th, the president of the United States, Donald J. Trump,” Vance told the crowd at his election party in Cincinnati, before criticizing unnamed media outlets which he said had sought his and Trump’s defeat. “Ladies and gentlemen, it ain’t the death of the America First agenda.”

Trump has not announced his plans for 2024, but he regularly hints that he intends to mount another presidential campaign.

Ryan, who briefly ran for president in 2020, has focused his campaign on working-class voters and the rejuvenation of manufacturing while taking a hardline on China and courting Trump supporters. After winning Tuesday’s primary, he sent out a fundraising ad calling Vance an “out-of-touch millionaire.”


“I want us to be the manufacturing powerhouse of the world. I want us to help this country leapfrog China,” Ryan told a gathering of supporters. “We can do it by coming together.”

Vance led the field in almost all the counties where most ballots had been counted, from deeply conservative rural counties to suburban areas that could be crucial to his hopes of beating Ryan. Vance’s lead was especially wide in places like Clermont County, a suburb of Cincinnati, where he led Mandel 35% to 22%, with almost all ballots counted. Vance also had a large lead in rural Athens County in southern Ohio, one of the state’s few counties won by U.S. President Joe Biden in 2020.

Nonpartisan election analysts favour Republicans’ chances of winning in November to keep retiring Senator Rob Portman’s seat.


Tuesday’s contests, which included a Democratic rematch for a U.S. House seat in Ohio and primaries in Indiana, kicked off a series of critical nominating contests in the coming weeks, including primaries in North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Georgia.

The influence of Trump, who has endorsed more than 150 candidates this year, will help determine whether Republicans, as expected, reverse their slim deficit in the House and also take control of the Senate, which is split 50-50 with Democrats owning the tie-breaking vote.

A loss of control of either chamber would allow Republicans to block Biden’s legislative agenda and also to pepper his administration with politically damaging investigations.

REPUBLICAN PUSHBACK

Not all Republicans are blindly following Trump’s lead. As in Ohio, where Senate candidates spent an unprecedented $66 million on advertising, Trump-backed candidates in Pennsylvania and North Carolina face well-funded Republican challengers.

Some Republicans worry that Trump’s picks, like former football star Herschel Walker in Georgia, could prove too controversial to prevail against Democrats in November, imperiling the party’s bid for Senate control.

Vance was not the choice of many party leaders in Ohio, and some have grumbled publicly about Trump’s decision. The Club for Growth, a powerful conservative advocacy group, broadcast ads bashing Vance and stuck by their pick in the race, Mandel.


In the Republican primary for governor, incumbent Mike DeWine held off three far-right Republican challengers to win the nomination, despite criticism from many conservatives for his business shutdowns and other policies during the pandemic.

DeWine will face former Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, who won the Democratic primary, becoming the first woman in Ohio history to secure a major party’s backing for the governorship.

In a closely watched Democratic race, incumbent Shontel Brown handily defeated progressive candidate Nina Turner in the congressional district which includes Cleveland. The contest was seen as a measure of the power balance between the establishment — represented by Brown — and more liberal wings of the party.

In Indiana, Air Force veteran Jennifer-Ruth Green beat six Republican challengers to win the nomination for a congressional district in a historically Democratic stronghold outside Chicago increasingly seen as having the potential to be competitive. She will attempt to oust freshman Democratic Representative Frank Mrvan, who easily won his primary on Tuesday night.
 

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Voting machine seized as Michigan State Police expand probe into possible election breaches
The seizure adds to the tally of potential voting equipment breaches.

Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Publishing date:May 06, 2022 • 20 hours ago • 1 minute read • 38 Comments

Michigan State Police have seized the voting tabulator in a small town an hour west of Lansing as an investigation into the unauthorized access of election equipment expands into new regions of the state, officials said on Friday.


State police raided Irving Township Hall in Barry County on April 29 and took possession of its ballot-processing tabulator, the county clerk and township supervisor told Reuters, confirming earlier media reports.

The raid shows that state police have expanded their probe into potential breaches of voting equipment and data into at least one more county, following the state’s disclosure of an investigation into Roscommon County in February.

“As we found out more information we’ve expanded our area to see if any other places were compromised,” said Michigan State Police Lieutenant Derrick Carroll, declining to comment on Irving specifically. “We have gone to other regions.”

Irving Township Supervisor Jamie Knight said the state police and office of Attorney General Dana Nessel seized the town’s tabulator “pursuant to a search warrant” last Friday.


“The Township intends to fully cooperate with law enforcement, and the Township attorneys have been in contact with the Michigan State Police regarding this matter,” Knight said in an emailed statement, declining further comment.

The seizure adds to the tally of potential voting equipment breaches. Last week, Reuters reported on eight known attempts to gain unauthorized access to voting systems in five U.S. states since the 2020 election, all involving local Republican officeholders or party activists who have promoted former President Donald Trump’s false claims about voter fraud or conspiracy theories about rigged voting machines.

The Michigan investigation was launched at the request of Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, who in February disclosed that an unauthorized party had “allegedly gained inappropriate access to tabulation machines and data drives used in Richfield Township and Roscommon County” without providing details.

Richfield Township officials have declined to comment.
 

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Indiana candidate accused of killing wife wins GOP primary from jail
Author of the article:Washington Post
Washington Post
Timothy Bella, The Washington Post
Publishing date:May 06, 2022 • 19 hours ago • 5 minute read • Join the conversation
This undated photo provided by the Boone County Sheriff's Office shows Andrew Wilhoite, who received 60 of the 276 total votes Tuesday, May 3, 2022, for Republicans for three positions on the Clinton Township Board.
This undated photo provided by the Boone County Sheriff's Office shows Andrew Wilhoite, who received 60 of the 276 total votes Tuesday, May 3, 2022, for Republicans for three positions on the Clinton Township Board. PHOTO BY BOONE COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE /AP

An Indiana man who is accused of killing his cancer-stricken wife as she was seeking a divorce won his GOP primary this week from jail and will be on the November ballot – if he has not been convicted.


Andrew Wilhoite was charged in March in connection to the killing of his wife, Elizabeth “Nikki” Wilhoite, 41. She had completed her last chemotherapy treatment for her breast cancer diagnosis and was seeking a divorce after she found out her husband had been having an affair, according to the Lebanon Reporter.

When the Lebanon, Ind., couple got into a domestic dispute in late March, Wilhoite “allegedly struck her in the head” with a cement, gallon-size flower pot, placed her in his car and dumped her body in a nearby creek, according to the Indiana State Police.

Despite the circumstances surrounding his wife’s killing, Wilhoite – who initially lied about her whereabouts but later admitted to killing her after she attacked him, according to prosecutors – won his Republican primary on Tuesday for one of the three open seats on the Clinton Township Board.


Election data shows that Wilhoite received 60 votes, while two other Republican candidates for the three seats received 106 and 100 votes, respectively. No Democratic candidates were on the ballot in the Clinton Township Board primary, but candidates in other parties could still make the ballot by November, reported WXIN.

The 40-year-old GOP candidate is charged with first-degree murder and is being held in Boone County Jail without bond. If he’s convicted, he could face up to life in prison, or even the death penalty, according to state law.

REMOVED IF CONVICTED
Wilhoite, whose jury trial is scheduled to begin in late August, will be removed from the ballot if he is convicted of a felony before the Nov. 8 general election. The Indiana man also has the option of removing his name from the ballot before July 15, but has not yet done so as of early Friday, records show.


Wilhoite’s attorneys are not listed in court records. The Clinton Township Board did not immediately respond to a request for comment early Friday.

Andrew Wilhoite was a farmer who raised livestock in Lebanon, located about 28 miles outside of Indianapolis, according to the Lebanon Reporter. He helped run the family business, Wilhoite Family Farms. Nikki Wilhoite worked in dentistry, according to her obituary.

On March 18, Nikki Wilhoite submitted a petition for legal separation in Boone County Circuit Court after she found out that her husband had allegedly cheated on her, according to court records. That same week, she documented how she had finished up her last round of chemotherapy to treat breast cancer, with which she was diagnosed the previous fall.


On the day she formally sought a split from him, Andrew Wilhoite posted a photo of his smiling wife of 12 years, expressing his support for her as she went through cancer treatment.

‘VERY PROUD OF YOU’
“This lady just finished her last round of chemo today,” Wilhoite wrote in a Facebook post that has since been made private. “Very proud of you.”

The unravelling marriage became more tenuous about a week later. The farmer told authorities that his wife initially attacked him on March 24 and yelled at him to leave the house, but that he ended up pushing her out the front door. Wilhoite said that as she charged at him around 10 p.m., he reached for a cement flowerpot in the dirt and struck her with it, according to the affidavit.


“Andrew was asked if Elizabeth was still breathing, and Andrew stated he didn’t know because he didn’t check,” police wrote.

Not knowing what to do, Wilhoite placed his unconscious wife in his truck and drove to Ross Ditch, wrote Indiana State Police Detective Adam Buell. From there, “Andrew described that he drove to a bridge over the creek and threw her over the wall and into the creek,” according to police. He disposed of the broken planter along the highway as he was making a corn delivery, the affidavit says.

Elizabeth “Nikki” Wilhoite was discovered in a creek on Saturday, March 26, 2022.
Elizabeth “Nikki” Wilhoite was discovered in a creek on Saturday, March 26, 2022. PHOTO BY HANDOUT /Boone County Sheriff's Office
After Nikki Wilhoite failed to report to work, detectives were called to investigate her whereabouts on March 25.

“An exhaustive search of the area with K-9 bloodhounds and deputies continued for several hours and we were not able to locate Nikki,” the Boone County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release of the initial efforts. “The investigation eventually evolved into a possible homicide investigation.” Since Andrew Wilhoite’s mother is a county councilwoman, the sheriff’s office said it asked the state police to run the investigation to avoid a conflict of interest.


Authorities found traces of blood in the couple’s bedroom, and Wilhoite acknowledged that they had been fighting about his extramarital affair. But the farmer initially told detectives that he had slept on the couch and did not see her by the time he left for work the next morning, according to authorities.

When detectives continued to question him and relatives around the farm, the GOP candidate eventually asked to speak to an attorney, WTHR reported. It was at that point that Wilhoite changed his account of the events, acknowledging he had hit her in the head with the planter and dumped her body in the creek. At around 3 a.m. on March 26, the Indiana State Police said they had recovered Nikki Wilhoite’s body “partially submerged in approximately three feet of water” after Andrew Wilhoite told them where to find her.


“All signs point to that she died at home,” Boone County Prosecutor Kent Eastwood said in March. “Nothing indicates that she drowned.”

BLOW TO THE HEAD
The coroner later confirmed that she died from the blow to the head.

The news has rocked the rural community in recent months. Nikki Wilhoite’s obituary lists her spouse not as her husband but as the “father of her children.” Neighbor Laura Vaughn told WXIN in March that if Andrew Wilhoite is guilty, then “he should pay severely for what he did to his wife and mother of his children.”

“How can you do that to the mother of your kids?” she asked.

Even though Wilhoite faces the murder charge, that did not stop his candidacy for the township board. He still has a right to be on the ballot unless he’s convicted, Brad King, co-director of the bipartisan Indiana Election Division, told the Tribune-Star.

“There is no legal reason he can’t be a candidate,” King said. “Under our system you are innocent until you are proven guilty. If a person is convicted of a felony, then they are no longer eligible to be a candidate and are ineligible to hold office.”

Boone County Republican Chairwoman Debbie Ottinger told the outlet that she cannot remember a time when an incarcerated candidate has won a primary.

“Our hope is that he asks to be removed from the ballot and we can just replace him,” she said, “but I don’t know if anyone has talked to him about that.”
 

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Two plead guilty for assaulting ex-cop Fanone during U.S. Capitol riot
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Sarah N. Lynch
Publishing date:May 06, 2022 • 16 hours ago • 2 minute read • Join the conversation

WASHINGTON — Two men pleaded guilty this week for their roles in assaulting former Metropolitan Police officer Michael Fanone, who was beaten and electrocuted with a taser during the January 2021 riot at the U.S. Capitol in Washington by throngs of former President Donald Trump’s supporters.


On Friday, defendant Albuquerque Cosper Head, 42, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson in a federal court in Washington to assaulting or impeding a police officer. In the hearing, he acknowledged he was responsible for pulling Fanone into the crowd.

“Did you in fact use riot shields to strike at the police or push against the police?” Berman Jackson asked.

“Yes,” Head responded.

Another defendant, Kyle Young, also pleaded guilty to assaulting or impeding a police officer in a separate court hearing before the judge on Thursday.

More than 800 people have been charged so far in connection with the Jan. 6. 2021 attack, a failed bid to block Congress from certifying President Joe Biden’s election.


About 140 police officers were assaulted during the riot, with the attack on Fanone being one of the most high-profile cases.

In an emotional congressional hearing last summer, Fanone testified about the assault against him.

“I heard chanting from some in the crowd, ‘Get his gun and kill him with his own gun.’ I was aware enough to recognize I was at risk of being stripped of and killed with my own firearm,” Fanone told lawmakers.

“I was electrocuted again, and again, and again, with a taser. I’m sure I was screaming, but I don’t think I could even hear my own voice.”

A total of four people have been charged in connection with the assault on Fanone. The government’s cases against the other defendants accused of assaulting him – Thomas Sibick and Daniel Rodriguez – are still pending.

At least two more suspects in the Fanone assault remain at large, according to the FBI’s wanted page.

In a statement sent to Reuters, Fanone said: “I look forward to looking each of these f***ers in the eye in court when they are sentenced.”
 

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Donald Trump's lawsuit challenging his Twitter ban dismissed
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Jan Wolfe
Publishing date:May 06, 2022 • 14 hours ago • 1 minute read • Join the conversation

WASHINGTON — A U.S. judge on Friday dismissed former President Donald Trump’s lawsuit against Twitter Inc that challenged his suspension from the platform.


In a written ruling, U.S. District Judge James Donato in San Francisco rejected Trump’s argument that Twitter violated his right to freedom of speech guaranteed by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Twitter and other social media platforms banned Trump from their services after a mob of his supporters attacked the U.S. Capitol in a deadly riot on Jan. 6, 2021.

That assault followed a speech by Trump in which he reiterated false claims that his election loss in November was because of widespread fraud, an assertion rejected by multiple courts and state election officials.

Trump’s lawyers alleged in a court filing last year that Twitter “exercises a degree of power and control over political discourse in this country that is immeasurable, historically unprecedented, and profoundly dangerous to open democratic debate.”

At the time of removing Trump’s account permanently, Twitter said his tweets had violated the platform’s policy barring “glorification of violence.” The company said then that Trump’s tweets that led to his removal were “highly likely” to encourage people to replicate what happened in the Capitol riots.

Before he was blocked, Trump had more than 88 million followers on Twitter and used it as his social media megaphone.
 
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Trump's ex-defence chief says he won't back Trump in 2024
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Publishing date:May 10, 2022 • 1 day ago • 1 minute read • 8 Comments

WASHINGTON — Former Defence Secretary Mark Esper said on Tuesday he would not vote for Donald Trump in 2024 if the Republican former president runs again, saying Trump lacked integrity and would not put the United States ahead of his own personal interests.


Asked if he would vote for Trump in 2024, Esper told MSNBC, “No,” making him one of the first Trump Cabinet members to openly reject their former boss for another White House run.

“Any elected official needs to meet some basic criteria: They need to be able to put country over self. They need to have a certain level of integrity and principle. They need to be able to reach across the aisle and bring people together and unite the country. Donald Trump doesn’t meet those marks for me,” he said.

Instead, the former defence chief urged his political party seek new leadership and focus on four core issues — a strong military, lower taxes, deregulation and conservative judges — before midterm congressional elections in November and the 2024 presidential contest.


Trump, who lost his re-election bid to Democrat Joe Biden in 2020, has not declared his candidacy but has repeatedly said his supporters will be “happy.”

Trump faces multiple investigations, including over his company’s financial dealings, his handling of classified documents and his role in his supporters’ attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 in an effort to block Biden’s win.

Other Republicans, including Trump’s former Attorney General Bill Barr and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell — who have both drawn Trump’s ire – have said they would back the party’s presidential pick in 2024 even if it is Trump.

Esper, who like Barr is selling a book detailing his time in the Trump administration, has called Trump a threat to democracy in recent media interviews. Trump, in response, called Esper “weak and totally ineffective.”
 

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Trump must pay $110,000 fine, meet other conditions to purge contempt: Judge
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Karen Freifeld and Luc Cohen
Publishing date:May 11, 2022 • 14 hours ago • 3 minute read • 23 Comments

NEW YORK — Former U.S. President Donald Trump must pay a $110,000 fine and meet other conditions to purge a contempt of court order over his failure to comply with a subpoena in a civil probe into his business practices by New York state’s attorney general, a judge said on Wednesday.


The judge, Arthur Engoron, also accused Trump during a virtual hearing of making a false statement in an affidavit relating to the subpoena seeking documents concerning his family real estate business, the Trump Organization.

Engoron said a $10,000-per-day fine he imposed on Trump in April for his failure to comply with the subpoena stopped accruing on Friday, when the former president and his lawyers filed new affidavits detailing steps they took to find documents relevant to Attorney General Letitia James’ investigation.

Trump said in the May 6 sworn statement that he does not have any relevant documents.

Engoron took issue with Trump’s claim in the affidavit that he has not communicated digitally since 2010, pointing to his past posts on Twitter and current posts on Truth Social, a network he founded.


“We all know he uses electronic communication – 80 million people were on his Twitter feed,” Engoron said. “A sentence has to be true. That sentence is just not true.”

Michael Madaio, a lawyer for Trump, said the statement was not meant to imply that Trump did not post on social media. Alina Habba, another Trump lawyer, said Trump did not use direct messaging on Twitter and that his tweets were not relevant to the investigation.

“Everything relevant to the (attorney general’s) subpoena has been produced,” Habba said.

The judge gave Trump until May 20 to comply with the additional conditions, or else the contempt order could be restored and the fine reinstated retroactively.

The conditions include having a third-party firm that has been hired to search the Trump Organization’s records submit a report about Trump’s compliance with the subpoena.


Engoron also asked for affidavits from several Trump Organization employees and lawyers, as well as a sworn statement from a Trump assistant about how the assistant handled Trump’s documents.

Once Trump pays the fine, the funds will be held in escrow pending his appeal of the contempt order.

PARALLEL CRIMINAL PROBE
James has said her probe has turned up evidence that the Trump Organization – which manages hotels, golf courses and other real estate around the world – has given banks and tax authorities misleading financial information to obtain benefits such as favourable loans and tax breaks.

A Republican, Trump denies wrongdoing and calls the investigation politically motivated. James is a Democrat.

The Manhattan District Attorney’s office, now run by Alvin Bragg, is also conducting a criminal investigation into how the Trump Organization valued its assets, which led to last summer’s indictment of the company’s chief financial officer on tax fraud charges.


Trump in February appealed a ruling by Engoron that he and his oldest children Donald Trump Jr and Ivanka Trump testify in James’ civil probe, saying their words could be used against them in Bragg’s probe in violation of their constitutional rights.

Some lawyers from James’ office are working with Bragg’s team on the criminal probe.

At a Wednesday afternoon hearing, a four-judge panel of a state appeals court in Manhattan appeared skeptical of Trump’s bid to overturn Engoron’s ruling.

Rolando Acosta, the presiding justice, noted that Trump and his children could simply invoke their right against self-incrimination and decline to answer questions.

“You cannot avoid a civil investigation,” Acosta said. “The only remedy that you have is to invoke your privilege of not incriminating yourself.”

The court did not say when it will rule.
 

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Musk says he prefers 'less divisive' candidate than Trump in 2024
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Publishing date:May 12, 2022 • 13 hours ago • 1 minute read • Join the conversation

WASHINGTON — Billionaire Elon Musk made clear on Thursday that even though he wants Twitter to lift its permanent ban on former President Donald Trump, that doesn’t mean he supports Trump in a prospective 2024 presidential campaign.

Musk, the world’s richest person and CEO of Tesla, is attempting to close a deal to acquire Twitter.

Musk told a Financial Times conference on Tuesday that Twitter’s decision to ban Trump was “morally bad.”

He followed up on those remarks in a tweet on Thursday evening, stressing he does not back Trump as a presidential candidate.

“Even though I think a less divisive candidate would be better in 2024, I still think Trump should be restored to Twitter,” he said.



Trump has said he does not want to return to Twitter, but instead wants to build up his own Truth Social platform.

He was banned from Twitter permanently in January 2021 because of the “risk of further incitement of violence” following the storming of the U.S. Capitol, the company said then. Trump is considering another run for the presidency in 2024 after losing his re-election bid in 2020.
 

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Trump pays $110,000 for failing to comply with subpoena in civil probe: N.Y. AG
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Publishing date:May 20, 2022 • 17 hours ago • 1 minute read • 53 Comments

NEW YORK — Former U.S. President Donald Trump has paid a $110,000 fine for his failure to respond to a subpoena in a civil investigation into his business practices, a spokesperson for the New York attorney general said on Friday.


The payment of the fine was one of three steps Trump needed to take for a judge to lift a contempt of court order issued last month for his lack of cooperation with Letitia James’ probe into whether the Trump Organization gave banks and tax authorities misleading financial information.

The judge, Arthur Engoron, held Trump in contempt and fined him $10,000 per day starting last month after finding it was not clear Trump had conducted a complete search for additional documents James had requested.

Engoron conditionally lifted the contempt order and the fine stopped accruing last week after Trump submitted details of his search for records. But Engoron said he would start fining Trump again if he did not pay by May 20.


He also required that a third-party firm complete its review of the Trump Organization’s records for relevant documents, and that Trump employees must submit affidavits on his practices for handling records, by that date. As of Friday afternoon, the former condition had been met but the latter had not, the spokesperson said.

Trump’s lawyer, Alina Habba, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

James has said her probe has found evidence that the company – which manages hotels, golf courses and other real estate throughout the world – misstated asset valuations to get benefits such as favorable loans and tax breaks.

A Republican, Trump denies wrongdoing and has called the investigation politically motivated. James is a Democrat.

The fine money will be held in escrow until a higher court weighs in on Trump’s appeal of the contempt order.
 

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Police arrest man with body armour, ammo outside U.S. Capitol
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Publishing date:Jun 03, 2022 • 16 hours ago • 1 minute read • 5 Comments

WASHINGTON — A Michigan man was arrested outside the U.S. Capitol on Friday morning after he presented a fake badge to police who then discovered a BB gun, body armour and high capacity magazines inside his vehicle, U.S. Capitol Police said.

Jerome Felipe, 53, a retired police officer, showed a badge with “Department of the INTERPOL” printed on it to a U.S. Capitol Police patrol officer and claimed he was a criminal investigator, police said in a statement.

Officers searched Felipe’s vehicle, discovering a BB gun, two ballistic vests, several high capacity magazines and other ammunition in the car, which he had parked near the Capitol. “No real guns were found,” the statement said.

Police said Felipe faces charges for illegally possessing high capacity magazines and unregistered ammunition.
 

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Former Trump adviser Peter Navarro indicted for contempt of Congress in Jan. 6 probe
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Doina Chiacu, David Morgan and Patricia Zengerle
Publishing date:Jun 03, 2022 • 7 hours ago • 3 minute read • Join the conversation

WASHINGTON — Peter Navarro, a former top adviser to ex-President Donald Trump, was charged on Friday with contempt of Congress for refusing to cooperate with the House of Representatives committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.


But two other close associates of the former president, Mark Meadows and Daniel Scavino, will not face criminal charges despite a House vote recommending them.

A federal grand jury charged Navarro with one count involving his refusal to appear for a deposition before the Jan. 6 Select Committee and another for his refusal to produce documents in response to a subpoena, the Justice Department said.

Navarro did not enter a plea at his 72-minute hearing before Magistrate Judge Zia Faruqui in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The former Trump adviser accused the Justice Department of “prosecutorial misconduct” for arresting him at a local airport as he tried to depart on a trip to Nashville and New York.


Navarro said authorities ignored his request for them to contact an attorney and refused to allow him to make a phone call during his arrest. “I am … disappointed in our republic,” he told the judge. His next court appearance was set for June 17.

A longtime China hawk, Navarro advised Trump on trade issues and also served on his COVID-19 task force. He has contended previously that his communications are protected by executive privilege, a legal principle protecting a president’s communications.

His indictment came a week before the committee is due on June 9 to hold the first in a series of public hearings on its investigation. And it came two days after Navarro filed a civil lawsuit against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the House committee.


Trump has urged associates not to cooperate with the Democratic-led investigation, calling it politically motivated.

In its subpoena, the committee said it had reason to believe that Navarro, 72, had information relevant to its investigation.


‘GREEN BAY SWEEP’
Navarro has said in media interviews and in his book that he helped coordinate an effort – known as the “Green Bay Sweep” – to halt certification of Biden’s victory and keep Trump in power.

Navarro faces up to a year in prison on each count, if convicted. He also faces fines but a court-appointed attorney disputed a Department of Justice assertion that he could be fined as much as $100,000 on each count, arguing instead that the maximum penalty should be $1,000.


Navarro argued at length for delaying the criminal proceedings and instead moving forward with his civil suit against the committee, arguing that the case against him stems from collusion between the Justice Department, Congress and the Biden White House.

“The prosecution has put me in an untenable position of conflicting constitutional interpretations,” Navarro said. “This is something that needs to get to the Supreme Court.”

Navarro is the second prominent Trump adviser to face criminal charges in the investigation.

Stephen Bannon, at one time the chief strategist for the former Republican president, was criminally charged in November for defying a subpoena.

The Democratic-controlled House recommended the contempt charges in April for Navarro and Scavino, a former deputy chief of staff to Trump. In December, the chamber voted in favour of a contempt charge for Meadows, a former House member who became Trump’s chief of staff.


The New York Times reported late on Friday that the Justice Department has decided against charging Meadows and Scavino with contempt of Congress.

The leaders of the House committee said the indictment of Navarro was the correct decision but that they found the decision on Meadows and Scavino “puzzling.”

“Mr. Meadows and Mr. Scavino unquestionably have relevant knowledge about President Trump’s role in the efforts to overturn the 2020 election and the events of January 6th. We hope the Department provides greater clarity on this matter,” Representatives Bennie Thompson, the committee’s chairperson, and Liz Cheney, its vice chairperson, said in a statement.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia declined to comment.


The Select Committee has conducted more than 1,000 interviews, including many with former White House aides, as it investigates the assault by thousands of Trump supporters on Jan. 6, 2021, as Vice President Mike Pence and lawmakers gathered to certify Democrat Joe Biden’s victory in the November 2020 presidential election.

After Trump repeated his false claims at a raucous rally that his defeat was the result of fraud, mobs rampaged through the Capitol, injuring police officers and sending Pence, lawmakers, staff and journalists fleeing for safety.

Four people died on the day of the attack, and one Capitol Police officer who fought with rioters died the next day. Four officers have since taken their own lives.
 

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Trump-backed Dr. Oz wins U.S. Senate Republican primary after McCormick concedes
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Publishing date:Jun 04, 2022 • 18 hours ago • 1 minute read • Join the conversation
Pennsylvania Republican U.S. Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz speaks at his primary election night watch party in Newtown, Pa., May 17, 2022.
Pennsylvania Republican U.S. Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz speaks at his primary election night watch party in Newtown, Pa., May 17, 2022. PHOTO BY HANNAH BEIER//FILE PHOTO /REUTERS
U.S. Senate Republican primary candidate David McCormick on Friday conceded to wellness celebrity Dr. Mehmet Oz, in the deadlocked race which had gone to a state-mandated recount with fewer than 1,000 votes dividing the pair.



Oz, who was backed by former President Donald Trump, will now square off against Democrat John Fetterman in the Nov. 8 midterm election to replace retiring Republican Senator Pat Toomey.

“I will do my part to try to unite Republicans and Pennsylvanians behind his candidacy, behind his nomination for the Senate,” McCormick said.

The race is crucial to Republican hopes of regaining control of a Senate narrowly held by President Joe Biden’s fellow Democrats.

The outcome poses a test for Trump’s influence over the Republican Party as he mulls a possible third run for president in 2024.

The former president has endorsed over 190 candidates, trying to solidify his status as party kingmaker. His picks have not always prevailed.

Oz and McCormick have both positioned themselves as champions of Trump’s populist “America First” agenda.

Fetterman, the state’s current lieutenant governor, said on Friday that he “almost died” from the stroke that has kept him off the campaign trail, indicating that his condition was graver than initially suggested.

“I’m not quite back to 100% yet, but I’m getting closer every day,” he said.
 

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Capitol riot panel blames Trump for 'attempted coup'
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Lisa Mascaro, Mary Clare Jalonick And Farnoush Amiri
Publishing date:Jun 09, 2022 • 14 hours ago • 6 minute read • 6 Comments
Vice Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., gives her opening remarks as Committee Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., left, looks on, as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds its first public hearing to reveal the findings of a year-long investigation, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 9, 2022.
Vice Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., gives her opening remarks as Committee Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., left, looks on, as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds its first public hearing to reveal the findings of a year-long investigation, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 9, 2022. PHOTO BY J. SCOTT APPLEWHITE /THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
WASHINGTON (AP) — The House panel investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol laid the blame firmly on Donald Trump Thursday night, saying the assault was hardly spontaneous but an “attempted coup” and a direct result of the defeated president’s effort to overturn the 2020 election.


With a never-before-seen 12-minute video of the deadly violence and startling testimony from Trump’s most inner circle, the House 1/6 committee provided gripping detail in contending that Trump’s repeated lies about election fraud and his public effort to stop Joe Biden’s victory led to the attack and imperiled American democracy

“Democracy remains in danger,” said Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., chairman of the panel, during the hearing, timed for prime time to reach as many Americans as possible.

“Jan. 6 was the culmination of an attempted coup, a brazen attempt, as one rioter put it shortly after Jan. 6, to overthrow the government,” Thompson said. “The violence was no accident.”

In a previously unseen video clip, the panel played a quip from former Attorney General Bill Barr who testified that he told Trump the claims of a rigged election were “bull——.”


In another, the former president’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, testified to the committee that she respected Barr’s view that there was no election fraud. “I accepted what he said.”

Others showed leaders of the extremist Oath Keepers and Proud Boys preparing to storm the Capitol to stand up for Trump. Testifying in person was one of the offices, Caroline Edwards, who suffered serious injuries as she battled the mob that pushed into the Capitol.

“President Trump summoned a violent mob,” said Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., the panel’s vice chair who took the lead for much of the hearing. “When a president fails to take the steps necessary to preserve our union — or worse, causes a constitutional crisis — we’re in a moment of maximum danger for our republic.”


There was an audible gasp in the hearing room, when Cheney read an account that said when Trump was told the Capitol mob was chanting for Vice President Mike Pence to be hanged, Trump responded that maybe they were right, that he “deserves it.”

Trump was angry that Pence, presiding in the House chamber, refused his order to reject the certification of Biden’s victory.

Police officers who had fought off the mob consoled one another as they sat in the committee room reliving the violence they faced on Jan. 6. Officer Harry Dunn teared up as bodycam footage showed rioters bludgeoning his colleagues with flagpoles and baseball bats.

Biden, in Los Angeles for the Summit of the Americas, said many viewers were “going to be seeing for the first time a lot of the detail that occurred.”


Trump, unapologetic, dismissed the investigation anew — and even declared on social media that Jan. 6 “represented the greatest movement in the history of our country.”

Repubicans on the House Judiciary Committee tweeted: “All. Old. News.”

The result of the coming weeks of public hearings may not change hearts or minds in politically polarized America. But the committee’s investigation with 1,000 interviews is intended to stand as a public record for history. A final report aims to provide an accounting of the most violent attack on the Capitol since the British set fire to it in 1814, and to ensure such an attack never happens again.

The riot left more than 100 police officers injured, many beaten and bloodied, as the crowd of pro-Trump rioters, some armed with pipes, bats and bear spray, charged into the Capitol. At least nine people who were there died during and after the rioting, including a woman who was shot and killed by police.


Emotions are still raw at the Capitol, and security will be tight for the hearings. Law enforcement officials are reporting a spike in violent threats against members of Congress.

Against this backdrop, the committee was speaking to a divided America, ahead of the fall midterm elections when voters decide which party controls Congress. Most TV networks carried the hearing live, but Fox News Channel did not.

Among those in the audience were several lawmakers who were trapped together in the House gallery during the attack.

“We want to remind people, we were there, we saw what happened,” said Rep. Dean Phillips, D-Minn. ”We know how close we came to the first non-peaceful transition of power in this country.”

The committee chairman, civil rights leader Thompson opened the hearing with sweep of American history. saying he heard in those denying the stark reality of Jan. 6 his own experience growing up in a time and place “where people justified the action of slavery, the Ku Klux Klan and lynching.”


Republican Rep. Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, outlined what the committee has learned about the events leading up to that brisk January day when Trump sent his supporters to Congress to “fight like hell” for his presidency as lawmakers undertook the typically routine job of certifying the previous November’s results.

Among those testifying was documentary maker Nick Quested, who filmed the Proud Boys storming the Capitol — along with a pivotal meeting between the group’s then-chairman Henry “Enrique” Tarrio and another extremist group, the Oath Keepers, the night before in nearby parking garage.

Court documents show that members of the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers were discussing as early as November a need to fight to keep Trump in office. Leaders both groups and some members have since been indicted on rare sedition charges over the military-style attack.


In the weeks ahead, the panel is expected to detail Trump’s public campaign to “Stop the Steal” and the private pressure he put on the Justice Department to reverse his election loss — despite dozens of failed court cases and his own attorney general attesting there was no fraud on a scale that could have tipped the results in his favor.

The panel faced obstacles from its start. Republicans blocked the formation of an independent body that could have investigated the Jan. 6 assault the way the 9/11 Commission probed the 2001 terror attack.

Instead, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ushered the creation of the 1/6 panel through Congress over the objections of Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell. She rejected Republican-appointed lawmakers who had voted on Jan. 6 against certifying the election results, eventually naming seven Democrats and two Republicans.


House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy, who has been caught up in the probe and has defied the committee’s subpoena for an interview, echoed Trump on Thursday. He called the panel a “scam” and labeled the investigation a political “smokescreen” for Democrats’ priorities.

The hearings are expected to introduce Americans to a cast of characters, some well known, others elusive, and to what they said and did as Trump and his allies tried to reverse the election outcome.

The public will learn about the actions of Mark Meadows, the president’s chief of staff, whose 2,000-plus text messages provided the committee with a snapshot of the real-time scramble to keep Trump in office. Of John Eastman, the conservative law professor who was the architect of the unsuccessful scheme to persuade Vice President Pence to halt the certification on Jan. 6. Of the Justice Department officials who threatened to resign rather than go along with Trump’s proposals.

The Justice Department has arrested and charged more than 800 people for the violence that day, the biggest dragnet in its history.
 

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'MIKE PENCE DESERVES IT': Trump's ire at VP a focus of U.S. Capitol riot hearings
Trump spoke approvingly of the mob's chants to 'hang Mike Pence,' Liz Cheney said

Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Patricia Zengerle and Richard Cowan
Publishing date:Jun 10, 2022 • 23 hours ago • 2 minute read • Join the conversation
Former U.S. vice-president Mike Pence speaks about the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol during an address to the Federalist Society in a video during the public hearing of the U.S. House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the United States Capitol, on Capitol Hill in Washington, June 9, 2022.
Former U.S. vice-president Mike Pence speaks about the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol during an address to the Federalist Society in a video during the public hearing of the U.S. House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the United States Capitol, on Capitol Hill in Washington, June 9, 2022.

WASHINGTON — A congressional panel investigating last year’s assault on the U.S. Capitol by Donald Trump’s supporters presented evidence at its prime-time hearing that the former president posed a danger both to American democracy and his vice-president, Mike Pence.


Representative Liz Cheney, the Republican vice chair of the House of Representatives select committee probing the Jan. 6, 2021, attack, told the hearing on Thursday that Trump spoke approvingly of the mob’s chants to “hang Mike Pence.”

The Democratic-led committee is holding a series of six hearings this month to share findings of its nearly year-long investigation into the events on and before the day of the attack.

“You will hear that President Trump was yelling and, quote, ‘really angry’ at advisers who told him he needed to be doing something more” to quell the riot, Cheney told the hearing. “And, aware of the rioters’ chants to ‘hang Mike Pence,’ the president responded with this sentiment: quote, ‘Maybe our supporters have the right idea,’ Mike Pence, quote, ‘deserves it.'”


The congresswoman’s father Dick Cheney served as U.S. vice-president from 2001 to 2009 under President George W. Bush.

The Capitol attack was launched in a failed bid to stop members of Congress from formally certifying in a process overseen by Pence the Republican Trump’s loss to Democrat Joe Biden in the November 2020 election.

Normally a routine event, the certification became a focus for Trump, who saw it as a last-ditch chance to retain the presidency despite losing the election. His supporters flocked to Washington to rally with Trump, who had made repeated false claims that the election was stolen from him through widespread voting fraud.

When thousands of Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol, they sent lawmakers, staff, journalists and Pence himself fleeing for their lives. The crowd did not just call for the vice-president to be hanged, it erected a makeshift gallows outside the Capitol.


The committee played a video of Trump’s remarks at the rally in which he urged supporters to march on the Capitol – the seat of Congress – and “fight like hell.”

“If Mike Pence does the right thing, we win the election. All Vice-President Pence has to do is send it back to the states to re-certify, and we become president – and you are the happiest people,” Trump told the raucous crowd.

“Mike Pence is going to have to come through for us – and if he doesn’t that will be a sad day for our country,” Trump added.

Cheney and Democratic Representative Bennie Thompson, the committee’s chair, outlined plans for the remaining hearings. One will focus on Trump’s efforts to pressure Pence to refuse to count electoral votes. Cheney played a video clip of Pence saying in remarks this past February: “President Trump is wrong. I had no right to overturn the election.”

Other future hearings will feature testimony by Greg Jacob, Pence’s former general counsel, about Trump’s demands. Marc Short, Pence’s former chief of staff, is also expected to testify.

“Witnesses in these hearings will explain how the former vice-president, as well his staff, informed President Trump over and over again that what he was pressuring Mike Pence to do was illegal,” Cheney said.

Short said in a deposition to the committee that Pence ultimately knew that his fidelity to the Constitution was his “first and foremost oath.”
 

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Told repeatedly he lost, Trump refused to go: 1/6 panel
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Lisa Mascaro And Eric Tucker
Publishing date:Jun 10, 2022 • 12 hours ago • 5 minute read • 89 Comments

WASHINGTON — Donald Trump was told the same thing over and over, by his campaign team, the data crunchers, and a steady stream of lawyers, investigators and inner-circle allies: There was no voting fraud that could have tipped the 2020 presidential election.


But in the eight weeks after losing to Joe Biden, the defeated Trump publicly, privately and relentlessly pushed his false claims of a rigged 2020 election and intensified an extraordinary scheme to overturn Biden’s victory. When all else failed in his effort to stay in power, Trump beckoned thousands of his supporters to Washington on Jan. 6, 2021, where extremists groups led the deadly Capitol siege.

The scale and virulence of that scheme began to take shape at the opening House hearing by the committee investigating 1/6. The prime-time hearing was watched by an estimated 20 million people on the TV networks, almost double the number who tuned in to the opening of Trump’s two impeachment trials.

When the panel resumes Monday, it will delve into its findings that Trump and his advisers knew early on that he had in fact lost the election but engaged in a “massive effort” to spread false information to convince the public otherwise.


Biden spoke of the importance of the committee’s investigation in remarks Friday in Los Angeles. “The insurrection on Jan. 6 was one of the darkest chapters in our nation’s history,” the president said, “a brutal assault on our democracy.”

Americans, he said, must “understand what truly happened and to understand that the same forces that led to Jan. 6 remain at work today.”

The House panel investigating the 1/6 attack on the Capitol is prepared next week to reveal more details and testimony about its assessment that Trump was made well aware of his election loss. With 1,000 interviews and 140,000 documents over the year-long probe, it will lay out how Trump was told repeatedly that there were no hidden ballots, rigged voting machines or support for his claims. Nevertheless Trump refused to accept defeat and his desperate attempt to cling to the presidency resulted in the most violent domestic attack on the Capitol in history.


“Over multiple months, Donald Trump oversaw and coordinated a sophisticated seven-part plan to overturn the presidential election and prevent the transfer of presidential power,” Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., told the hearing Thursday night. “Trump’s intention was to remain president of the United States,” she said.

On Wednesday, the panel will hear testimony from the highest levels of the Trump-era Department of Justice — acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, his top deputy Richard Donoghue and Steven Engel, the former head of the department’s Office of Legal Counsel — according to a person familiar with the situation and granted anonymity to discuss their appearances.

The testimony from the three former Justice Department officials is expected to center on a chaotic stretch in the final weeks of the administration when Trump openly weighed the idea of replacing Rosen with a lower-ranking official, Jeffrey Clark, who was seen as more willing to champion in court the president’s false claims of voter fraud.


The situation came to a head in an hours-long meeting at the White House on Jan. 3, 2021, attended by Rosen, Donoghue, Engel and Clark, when top Justice Department officials and White House lawyers told Trump they would resign if he went ahead with his plan to replace Rosen. The president ultimately let Rosen finish out the administration as acting attorney general.

Thursday will turn to Trump’s efforts to press Vice President Mike Pence to refuse to count electoral votes on Jan. 6, a scheme proposed at the White House by an outside lawyer, John Eastman. During the insurrection, rioters prowled the halls of the Capitol shouting “hang Mike Pence” when the vice president refused Trump’s plan to overturn the 2020 election.


“I’d like to see the truth come out,” said Ken Sicknick, whose brother, Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, died after suffering a stroke defending the Capitol, said Friday on CNN.

He said while the family received countless condolences after his brother died, including from the vice president, “not one tweet, not one note, not one card, nothing” from Trump. “Because he knows he’s the cause of the whole thing.”

The hearings are intended to stand as the public record of the attack and the circumstances around it and could result in referrals for prosecution. With Trump considering another White House run, the committee’s final report aims to account for the most violent attack on the Capitol since 1814.

Trump responded on his social media site Friday, decrying the “WITCH HUNT!” even as he fully acknowledged he refused to accept defeat.


“Many people spoke to me about the Election results, both pro and con, but I never wavered one bit,” he said, pushing his false claim of a stolen election.

Trump declared that Jan. 6 “represented the greatest movement in the history of our country.”

At the outset, the panel put the blame for the insurrection squarely on Trump, saying the assault was not spontaneous but an “attempted coup” driven by Trump’s effort to overturn the 2020 election.

With a new 12-minute video of extremist groups leading the deadly siege and startling testimony from Trump’s most inner circle, the committee provided new detail of an imperiled democracy.

“Jan. 6 was the culmination of an attempted coup,” said Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., chairman of the panel. “The violence was no accident.”


In a previously unseen video clip, the panel played a remark from former Attorney General Bill Barr, who testified that he told Trump the claims of a rigged election were “bull—-.”

In another clip, the former president’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, testified to the committee that she respected Barr’s view that there was no election fraud. “I accepted what he said.”

Others showed leaders of the extremist Oath Keepers and Proud Boys preparing to storm the Capitol to stand up for Trump. One rioter after another told the committee they came to the Capitol because Trump asked them to.

In wrenching testimony U.S. Capitol Police officer Caroline Edwards told the panel that she slipped in other people’s blood as rioters pushed past her into the Capitol. She suffered brain injuries in the melee.


“It was carnage. It was chaos,” she said.

The riot left more than 100 police officers injured, many beaten and bloodied, as the crowd of Trump supporters, some armed with pipes, bats and bear spray, charged into the Capitol. At least nine people who were there died during or after the rioting, including a woman who was shot and killed by police.

Court documents show that members of the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers were discussing as early as November a need to fight to keep Trump in office. Leaders both groups and some members have since been indicted on rare sedition charges over the military-style attack.

The Justice Department has arrested and charged more than 800 people for the violence that day, the biggest dragnet in its history.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Friday in Los Angeles the purpose of the committee is “to seek the truth” to make sure “that never again will anybody think that it’s OK to have a coup, to have an assault on the Capitol of the United States, an assault on the democracy of our country.”