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Jan 6 hearings – live: Committee plans two live sessions next week as Trump defends ‘perfect’ Georgia calls

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The 6 January select committee is reportedly planning to hold another primetime hearing on Thursday 14 July, this in addition to a session on Tuesday 12 July that will unpack evidence on how the crowd that stormed the Capitol was gathered. It is expected to focus in particular on extremist elements including the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump has taken to Truth Social to defend his campaign to pressure Georgia state officials into overturning the 2020 election, insisting that his phonecalls to them were “perfect” – this as he faces a grand jury investigation into his actions by the district attorney in Fulton County.

Mr Trump has also expressed worries that the Jan 6 select committee may be gaining access to “inner secrets” of the government, and referred to his former White House counsel Pat Cipollone – who will be testifying privately on Friday – as a “lawyer acting for the Country” that “may someday be brought before a partisan and openly hostile Committee in Congress, or even a fair and reasonable Committee, to reveal the inner secrets of foreign policy or other important matters. So bad for the USA!”

Key Points

Former DOJ official at centre of Trump’s election scheme seen in underwear on police video

10:00 , Andrew Naughtie

A former US Department of Justice official central to Donald Trump’s attempts to subvert the results of the 2020 presidential election was captured on police video outside his home in a shirt and boxer shorts as investigators searched the property on 22 June.

Law enforcement investigated Jeffrey Clark’s home one day before the House select committee investigating the attack on the US Capitol heard testimony about the former president’s pressure campaign to reverse his election defeat.

Alex Woodward has more details.

Former official who pushed Trump’s election scheme seen in underwear on police video

New Jan 6 documentary director says he went soft on ‘fuming’ Trump

09:20 , Andrew Naughtie

The director of an upcoming documentary “Unprecedented” whose scenes were handed over to the Jan 6 committee under subpoena has said that his approach was “very soft” and he did not push when he spoke to Mr Trump.

Alex Holder, a British filmmaker, was in the White House on the day of the attack and also spoke with Trump and his family in the aftermath of the Jan 6 riots.

Mr Holder told Time that he filmed Mr Trump “fuming” over Georgia governor Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, whom he called cowards.

“They’re not even running the state,” Mr Holder recalled Mr Trump as saying. “The state’s being run by Stacey Abrams.”

He said: “My approach was being really open and transparent and very soft. I didn’t push. I sort of took what I could get from them... There were no tricks in this. I’m very straightforward.”

After the interview finished, “there was a very awkward silence. A very uncomfortable atmosphere. There was a feeling of people being scared,” he said.

The filmmaker handed hours of footage to the committee which he says was “very important for the chronology and for what was going on in people’s minds at those specific times”.

All three episodes of the documentary will be streaming on Discovery+ on Sunday.

ICYMI: Former Trump press aide to testify at next Jan 6 hearing

09:20 , Oliver O'Connell

A former Trump White House staffer who resigned after the 6 January riot at the US Capitol is set to testify publicly to the select committee investigating the incident.

Sarah Matthews, who served as deputy press secretary in the later phase of the administration, will reportedly be appearing by agreement at a future hearing after receiving a subpoena, according to CNN.

Trump press aide who quit after Capitol riot to testify at Jan 6 committee hearing

Next Jan 6 hearing will focus on Trump’s role in urging mob into Capitol riot

09:00 , Oliver O'Connell

The Jan 6 committee will meet for its next public hearing a week from Tuesday, lawmakers have announced.

A short notice was posted on Twitter by the panel’s members late Tuesday afternoon. The news comes a week exactly since the last hearing of the riot committee featured the explosive testimony of Cassidy Hutchinson, a high-ranking White House staffer.

The next hearing will focus on Donald Trump and his allies’ role in luring thousands of Mr Trump’s supporter to the nation’s capital for the day of the riot itself, members revealed in interviews over the weekend.

Jan 6 hearing: Next date revealed as focus turns to Trump’s role in assembling mob

Trump’s social media company disputes claim ex-president left board

08:56 , Shweta Sharma

Donald Trump’s social media company on Thursday disputed a claim that former president left the company’s board of directors just weeks before subpoenas were issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Mr Trump was one of the six board members at the Trump Media and Technology Group who were removed, according to 8 June filing with Florida Department of State’s Division of Corporations.

The company denied the claims calling it a “fake news story”.

“Contrary to an ‘exclusive’ fake news story filed by a reporter who is incapable of understanding state business records, Donald Trump remains on the board of Trump Media and Technology Group. In fact, the reporter acknowledges that Trump’s title is “chairman,” but apparently has no clue what a chairman presides over. Hopefully this helps clarify things,” TMTG said.

Truth Social, the company’s social media app, also denied that Mr Trump left the board.

Donald Trump reacts to attack on Shinzo Abe

08:37 , Shweta Sharma

Taking to his Truth Social handle, former president Donald Trump said the attack on former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe was devastating amid an outpour of messages from world leaders expressing shock and grief over the incident.

He described Abe as a “truly great man and leader” and said he “was a true friend of mine and, much more importantly, America.”

“This is a tremendous blow to the wonderful people of Japan, who loved and admired him so much. We are all praying for Shinzo and his beautiful family!” Mr Trump said.

Japan’s former prime minister Shinzo Abe and Donald Trump smiling in 2019 picture (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Japan’s former prime minister Shinzo Abe and Donald Trump smiling in 2019 picture (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Brian Kemp raises $3.8m for reelection bid as Georgia governor

08:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp said Wednesday that his main campaign committee raised $3.8 million in the two months ended June 30, but heavy spending leading up to the Republican‘s blowout primary win meant that Kemp’s total amount of cash on hand continued to decline.

Here’s the latest from the Georgia race:

Georgia's Brian Kemp raises $3.8M for reelection bid

Secret Service director James Murray heading to Snapchat

08:00 , Oliver O'Connell

United States Secret Service Director James Murray will stand down from government service at the end of the month, the agency said in a press release on Thursday.

Mr Murray, a 27-year Secret Service veteran, is the 26th person to serve in the director’s role, and has done so since May 2019. According to multiple reports, he is set to assume a role in corporate security with Snap, inc.

Andrew Feinberg reports from Washington, DC.

Secret Service director James Murray retiring for role at Snapchat

Fox & Friends mocked over criticism of Boris Johnson for being dishonest, mishandling Covid and refusing to leave office... after years of supporting Trump

07:30 , Oliver O'Connell

The hosts of Fox & Friends have been mocked for criticizing Boris Johnson for being dishonest and refusing to resign after the programme spent years supporting former President Donald Trump.

“Irony was murdered, resurrected, and then killed again about five different times in this clip. A classic,” said journalist Aaron Rupar.

Trump-supporting Fox & Friends mocked over criticism of Boris Johnson for dishonesty

Arizona Governor Ducey dismisses Trump pick to be successor

06:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey on Thursday endorsed businesswoman Karrin Taylor Robson to be his successor, adding his name to a growing list of mainstream conservatives looking to boost her past Donald Trump-endorsed frontrunner Kari Lake.

Robson, a political newcomer, has used her family’s vast wealth to blanket the airwaves and narrow the gap with Lake, a former television anchor who has energized the Trump base with combative attacks on journalists, Democrats, and Republicans who have gone crosswise with Trump.

Arizona Gov. Ducey backs Robson as successor over Trump pick

Bannon tears into Rogan over Trump criticism

05:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Far-right agitator and former Trump lieutenant Steve Bannon has come out raging against Joe Rogan after the controversial podcaster condemned the former president as an “existential threat” to democracy in the US.

Mr Rogan, whose enormously popular show has hosted multiple controversial guests espousing extreme views and spouting baseless and – critics say – harmful misinformation, said earlier this week that he had turned down Donald Trump as a guest many times.

“I’m not a Trump supporter in any way, shape or form,” he said on the Lex Fridman Podcast. “I’ve had the opportunity to have him on my show more than once. I’ve said no, every time. I don’t want to help him. I’m not interested in helping him.”

Mr Bannon – who is facing trial on contempt of Congress charges – was disdainful.

Read more:

Steve Bannon blasts Joe Rogan for calling Trump a danger to democracy

Are GOP attempts to defeat Michigan Governor Whitmer hampered by candidates’ baggage?

04:30 , Oliver O'Connell

A leading contender for the Republican nomination for governor in Michigan was sued in the 1990s, accused of using racial slurs about Black people in the workplace and sexually harassing his employees.

One of his rivals pleaded not guilty in federal court on Thursday to misdemeanor charges after authorities said he rallied Donald Trump’s supporters to storm the US Capitol during the Jan. 6 insurrection. Another candidate is a chiropractor and self-help guru who hawked supplements he falsely claimed treated Covid-19.

And even the contender who has garnered mainstream support had an “admittedly lame” hobby acting in low-budget horror pictures, one of which included a zombie biting off a man’s genitals.

Read on:

GOP push to defeat Whitmer threatened by candidates' baggage

Sacha Baron Cohen defeats Roy Moore defamation suit

03:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Comedian Sacha Baron Cohen on Thursday defeated a $95 million defamation lawsuit filed by former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, who said he was tricked into a television appearance that lampooned sexual misconduct accusations against him.

The 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan, upholding a lower court’s ruling in favor of Baron Cohen, said Moore signed a disclosure agreement that prohibited any legal claims over the appearance.

Sacha Baron Cohen defeats defamation suit filed by Roy Moore

IRS will investigate why Comey and McCabe were ‘targeted’ for audits

02:30 , Oliver O'Connell

The IRS commissioner asked the Treasury Department’s Inspector General to investigate the audits of two former FBI officials to determine if they were targeted for political reasons on Thursday.

The move comes after a New York Times report revealed on Wednesday that former FBI Director James Comey and ex-deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe both faced an extremely rare and intensive form of IRS audit that is only carried out on a few thousand people — at random — every year.

The inclusion of both men in the audits, after they left office and became very public enemies of Donald Trump, raised immediate concerns from experts regarding whether it was a coincidence that both were audited.

John Bowden reports.

IRS to investigate after Comey, McCabe ‘targeted’ by audits

Herschel Walker campaign dodges claim they didn’t know he had multiple secret children

01:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Georgia Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker’s campaign pushed back on a report that his campaign did not know that he had fathered multiple secret children.

Eric Garcia reports.

Herschel Walker’s campaign denies team didn’t know he had multiple secret children

Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen asks to be discharged from supervised release

Friday 8 July 2022 00:45 , Oliver O'Connell

The attorney for former Trump lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen has asked that his client be discharged from supervised release, arguing that he had “exceeded all of his court-ordered responsibilities”, Law & Crime reports.

In 2018 Mr Cohen pleaded guilty to eight counts including campaign finance violations, tax fraud, and bank fraud. He said he violated campaign-finance laws at the direction of Donald Trump and "for the principal purpose of influencing" the 2016 presidential election.

Michael Cohen leaves court in New York, 2021 (REUTERS)
Michael Cohen leaves court in New York, 2021 (REUTERS)

He was sentenced to three years in federal prison but released to home confinement due to the Covid-19 pandemic in May 2020 from which he was released in November 2021.

Mr Cohen wrote a memoir about his time with Mr Trump titled Disloyal in which he characterises his former boss as as “a cheat, a mobster, a liar, a fraud, a bully, a racist, a predator, a con man.” He also actively participated in several probes into the former president.

David Schwartz, Mr Cohen’s attorney, argues that his client had met with state, federal, and congressional investigators, including on occasions on which he was not obligated to do so.

He wrote in a letter to Judge Jesse Furman: “Obviously, given the profile of Mr Cohen’s prosecution, it is widely understood that Mr Cohen endeavored to provide meaningful assistance to the government, at least as far as this term is colloquially understood.”

Mr Schwartz added: “There is no question that Mr Cohen and his family have paid the price for his transgressions. No doubt, it will also not be lost on this court that he has taken full responsibility for his actions.”

Megan Rapinoe: Conservatives slam Biden for awarding Presidential Medal of Freedom to soccer star

Friday 8 July 2022 00:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Conservatives took to Twitter to slam President Joe Biden for awarding the Presidential Medal of Freedom to soccer star Megan Rapinoe.

“She’s one of the most accomplished soccer players and the first soccer player to receive the Medal of Freedom. Beyond the World Cup title to Olympic medals, Megan is a champion for an essential American truth – that everyone, everyone is entitled to be treated with dignity and respect,” Mr Biden said during the White House ceremony on Thursday.

Not everyone agrees.

Gustaf Kilander reports.

Conservatives slam Biden for awarding Medal of Freedom to soccer star Megan Rapinoe

Trump rises to defend Georgia election pressure campaign

Thursday 7 July 2022 23:34 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump is awake and truthing on his bespoke “free speech” platform, Truth Social. First on his list of grievances today is the ongoing investigation into his and his allies’ efforts to pressure officials in Georgia into invalidating Joe Biden’s 2020 victory there based on false claims and conspiracy theories.

The calls in question, which he still claims were “perfect” and legal, are now the subject of a grand jury investigation in Fulton County.

Here’s what he wrote:

BOTH of my phone calls to Georgia were PERFECT. I had an absolute right to make them &, in fact, the story on the one call was given a retraction, or apology, by the Washington Post because they were given terribly false information about it, & when they heard the actual call, they realized that their story was wrong. Thank you to the W.P. I, as does anyone else (just look at the Democrats!), have the absolute right to challenge the results of an Election.This one, CORRUPT, RIGGED, & STOLEN!

And then:

I did NOTHING wrong in Georgia, but others did. They CHEATED in the 2020 Presidential Election, and those are the ones that should be investigated (and prosecuted)! Letter to follow.

Biden awards Presidential Medal of Freedom to ‘extraordinary group’ of 17

Thursday 7 July 2022 23:15 , Oliver O'Connell

An Olympic gymnast, a nun and a priest walked into the White House East Room on Thursday joined by 13 other Americans, including a former Republican senator and one of the most decorated women in the history of the US military, to receive the nation’s highest civilian honour — the Presidential Medal of Freedom — from President Joe Biden.

Andrew Feinberg reports.

Biden awards Medal of Freedom to ‘extraordinary group’ of 17, including Simone Biles

Secret Service director James Murray heading to Snapchat

Thursday 7 July 2022 22:38 , Oliver O'Connell

United States Secret Service Director James Murray will stand down from government service at the end of the month, the agency said in a press release on Thursday.

Mr Murray, a 27-year Secret Service veteran, is the 26th person to serve in the director’s role, and has done so since May 2019. According to multiple reports, he is set to assume a role in corporate security with Snap, inc.

Andrew Feinberg reports from Washington, DC.

Secret Service director James Murray retiring for role at Snapchat

Kellyanne Conway says Kushner trying to ‘wash his hands’ of 2020 election defeat

Thursday 7 July 2022 22:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Former president Donald Trump’s senior counselor Kellyanne Conway has blasted his son-in-law Jared Kushner, accusing him of trying to absolve himself of any responsibility for Mr Trump’s 2020 election loss.

Ms Conway made the remarks to The Washington Times as the woman who managed Mr Trump’s 2016 campaign promotes her new memoir Here’s the Deal.

Eric Garcia reports.

Kellyanne Conway accuses Jared Kushner of trying to ‘wash his hands’ of 2020 loss

Opinion: Boris Johnson’s departure proves it... Biden has to go

Thursday 7 July 2022 22:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Skyler Baker-Jordan writes:

How lucky our British cousins are. Being able to dispatch a disgraced, degenerate, or even just a doddering head of government must be nice. We here in America wouldn’t know, but I wish we did. Looking at what’s happening in Westminster has me wishing something similar could happen in Washington, and that Joe Biden would meet a similar — if kinder — fate.

Boris Johnson’s departure proves it — Biden has to go

Mass shootings ‘designed’ to make GOP support gun control claims Marjorie Taylor Greene

Thursday 7 July 2022 21:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene speculated that shootings in Philadelphia and Highland Park, Illinois were meant to increase Republican support for gun control legislation.

Ms Greene, who has often peddled conspiracy theories since before she was elected to Congress, made the remarks on her podcast on Wednesday after the shootings.

Eric Garcia reports on the lawmaker’s latest bizarre statement.

Greene claims shootings ‘designed’ so GOP will support gun control

Video shows Rudy Giuliani being brutally heckled

Thursday 7 July 2022 21:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Rudy Giuliani was brutally heckled by critics in Binghampton, New York, a video posted on social media shows.

The former New York Mayor appeared to be campaigning for his son Andrew Giuliani, whose bid for the Republican nomination for governor ended last week in a primary loss to GOP Congressman Lee Zeldin.

“I’m glad that you can have good days regardless of how you’re destroying this country,” one protester yelled at Mr Giuliani.

Gustaf Kilander reports.

Video shows Rudy Giuliani being brutally heckled

What insiders say about Ron DeSantis standing for president in 2024

Thursday 7 July 2022 20:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Every few weeks or so, The Independent’s Inside Washington newsletter (subscribe here) will highlight some potential 2024 candidates, should Joe Biden and Donald Trump not run. Consider this your Scouting Report.

Late last week before the holiday, Eric Garcia spoke with some GOP funders and insiders about who they see as a potential alternative to another term of Trump. And it’s fairly clear that many in the donor class have their eyes on one man: Ron DeSantis.

What insiders say about Ron DeSantis standing for president in 2024

Would Tucker Carlson ever run for president?

Thursday 7 July 2022 20:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Cable news firebrand Tucker Carlson won’t run for president in 2024 or likely ever, he declared on Thursday.

Carlson spoke with Semafor co-founder Ben Smith in a virtual interview for the startup’s launch event and denied that he had presidential ambitions ⁠— or ambitions of any kind.

His insistence came after Mr Smith snidely remarked that “your friends, to the extendtthat you’ve still got them in Washington” were speaking about the possibility of him running for the Republican nomination for president in the next cycle. The remark resulted in a chuckle from Carlson.

John Bowden reports on Carlson’s full answer.

Tucker Carlson says he’ll never run for president

Reports: Two Jan 6 committee hearings planned next week

Thursday 7 July 2022 19:53 , Oliver O'Connell

According to reports circulating on Capitol Hill, though not officially confirmed by the committee itself, there will be two January 6 select committee public hearings next week.

First up, on Tuesday at 10am, Reps Jamie Raskin and Stephanie Murphy will lead the hearing covering how former President Donald Trump urged extremist groups to gather in Washington, DC on 6 January 2021.

Then on Thursday, according to reports back in primetime at 8pm, Reps Elaine Luria and Adam Kinzinger will lead a hearing on what was going on inside the White House during the Capitol riot.

Jake Sherman of Punchbowl News notes that the timings of the hearings are not certain until they are officially announced.

The Guardian’s Hugo Lowell reports that the Thursday session is expected to be the final hearing “for now”.

Opinion: After two Trump impeachments, amazement in DC at Boris Johnson’s swift downfall

Thursday 7 July 2022 19:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Andrew Feinberg writes:

So on this side of the pond, you might forgive us Americans for believing that a brash, wildly coiffed, tow-headed populist conservative leader with a history of lying getting forced out of office by members of his own party would be the stuff of pure fiction. But apparently, that’s not the case.

I’m watching Boris Johnson’s downfall from Washington DC and I have some questions

Tucker Carlson admits he hates white liberal women more than anything

Thursday 7 July 2022 19:00 , Oliver O'Connell

A contentious interview between Semafor’s Ben Smith and Fox News host Tucker Carlson elicited an exchange in which the primetime cable host admitted that he hates liberal white women.

The conversation took place between Mr Smith and the Fox host on Thursday; Mr Carlson, appearing virtually, was said by other journalists like Jeff Jarvis to have “steamrolled” the Semafor co-founder during the interview.

John Bowden reports on what was said.

Tucker Carlson admits he hates white liberal women more than anything

Video emerges of Giuliani being heckled while campaigning for son

Thursday 7 July 2022 18:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Video has emerged from mid-June of Rudy Giuliani being heckled while he was on the campaign trail for his son who was running for New York governor.

Filmed in the city of Binghampton, the former New York mayor and Trump ally is called “treasonous” and told to “go to hell” by at least one man and one woman, among other choice insults.

Liam Wagner said that he shared the video after Mr Giuliani demanded a grocery store worker be charged for making physical contact with him while heckling him in Staten Island.

Watch below on TikTok (Warning: Language)

Fox & Friends mocked over criticism of Boris Johnson for being dishonest, mishandling Covid and refusing to leave office... after years of support for Trump

Thursday 7 July 2022 18:00 , Oliver O'Connell

The hosts of Fox & Friends have been mocked for criticizing Boris Johnson for being dishonest and refusing to resign after the programme spent years supporting former President Donald Trump.

Gustaf Kilander reports on the comical moment.

Trump-supporting Fox & Friends mocked over criticism of Boris Johnson for dishonesty

Bannon tears into Rogan over Trump criticism

Thursday 7 July 2022 17:30 , Andrew Naughtie

Far-right agitator and former Trump lieutenant Steve Bannon has come out raging against Joe Rogan after the controversial podcaster condemned the former president as an “existential threat” to democracy in the US.

Mr Rogan, whose enormously popular show has hosted multiple controversial guests espousing extreme views and spouting baseless and – critics say – harmful misinformation, said earlier this week that he had turned down Donald Trump as a guest many times.

“I’m not a Trump supporter in any way, shape or form,” he said on the Lex Fridman Podcast. “I’ve had the opportunity to have him on my show more than once. I’ve said no, every time. I don’t want to help him. I’m not interested in helping him.”

Mr Bannon – who is facing trial on contempt of Congress charges – was disdainful.

Read more:

Steve Bannon blasts Joe Rogan for calling Trump a danger to democracy

Georgia’s Trump-backed Senate nominee lied to staff about secret children

Thursday 7 July 2022 17:00 , Andrew Naughtie

Herschel Walker, the often erratic GOP nominee in Georgia’s all-important Senate race, has long been dogged by stories of a messy and at even violent personal life, some of which he has confirmed. Now, the Daily Beast reports that not only did he conceal the existence of two of his own children from the press, but that he lied to his own campaign staff about how many children he has.

Analysis: What to know about DeSantis 2024

Thursday 7 July 2022 16:30 , Andrew Naughtie

Eric Garcia writes from Washington on developments in the pre-game phase of the 2024 Republican presidential primary – and specifically the growing speculation about what a campaign by popular Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

The Florida governor has become the conservative golden boy in the past two years by virtue of his lax approach to combating the Covid-19 pandemic and his tough-guy posturing, as well as some significant policy wins for conservatives.

He now seems to be attracting attention not just from Republicans, but from Democrats too. California Governor Gavin Newsom, whose profile has risen ever since he beat back a conservative-backed recall last year, put out an ad over the holiday weekend bashing DeSantis and urging people who don’t like him to come to California.

All of this means that DeSantis’s stock has risen. But it’s not guaranteed he can win.

Read his full analysis below.

What insiders say about Ron DeSantis standing for president in 2024

Fox & Friends lambasts Boris Johnson for Trumpian behaviour

Thursday 7 July 2022 15:58 , Andrew Naughtie

The hosts of Fox & Friends have weighed in on the defenestration of Boris Johnson – criticizing him for all manner of improprieties and missteps that bring to mind a certain president of whom they’re generally quite fond...

Trump rises to defend Georgia election pressure campaign

Thursday 7 July 2022 15:34 , Andrew Naughtie

Donald Trump is awake and truthing on his bespoke “free speech” platform, Truth Social. First on his list of grievances today is the ongoing investigation into his and his allies’ efforts to pressure officials in Georgia into invalidating Joe Biden’s 2020 victory there based on false claims and conspiracy theories.

The calls in question, which he still claims were “perfect” and legal, are now the subject of a grand jury investigation in Fulton County.

 (Truth Social)
(Truth Social)
 (Truth Social)
(Truth Social)

Analysis: Why Sarah Matthews’s testimony matters so much

Thursday 7 July 2022 14:45 , Andrew Naughtie

Andrew Feinberg takes a look at the implications of this week’s news that another Trump administration aide, former deputy press secretary Sarah Matthews, will be testifying to the Jan 6 committee in a televised hearing.

He writes that Ms Matthews is another example of a particularly important breed of Washington insider whose insight can be devastating to former bosses under scrutiny:

If you look at photos of White House meetings, there’s always an outer ring of chairs populated by people who staff the decision-makers — or the principals — seated around the table. People with titles such as Special Assistant and Deputy Assistant and Assistant this-or-that will often circulate between offices while making arrangements and relaying messages between the bold-faced names they serve.

Yet those principals often forget that the young staffers – often no older than their mid-20s – are in the room. The twentysomethings who keep Washington running are often invisible to all but a select few (usually reporters) who know to pay attention.

Read the full piece below.

The problem Donald Trump didn’t see coming

Another Jan 6 defendant cites hearings in jury challenge

Thursday 7 July 2022 14:05 , Andrew Naughtie

In a new court filing, one of the scores of alleged 6 January rioters has claimed that the select committee investigating the Capitol attack has “poisoned the jury pool” by broadcasting its hearings, essentially making it impossible for him to get a fair trial.

Robert Morss, a Pennsylvania resident who has been refused pre-trial release, is facing trial alongside eight others accused of acting together to assault police officers trying to protect Congress from being stormed by the mob of Trump supporters who arrived to halt the certification of Joe Biden’s victory.

Missouri GOP candidate doubles down on violent imagery as primary nears

Thursday 7 July 2022 13:35 , Andrew Naughtie

Eric Greitens is still running for the Republican nomination in the Missouri Senate despite horrific allegations of domestic abuse – and rather than smoothing over his image as a volatile man, he has upped the ante in his recent ads, with one video showing him storming a house alongside armed shock troops in search of “RINOs” to kill.

Another ad shows him stalking through a field with a rifle, wearing a maniacally fixed smile as camouflaged figures rise out of the grass behind him.

These videos are drawing increasing alarm as the primary draws near and Mr Greitens seeks Donald Trump’s potentially decisive endorsement. One former friend of the candidate has now put out a video of his own calling on Mr Greitens to de-escalate his increasingly violent campaign.

Watch: Liz Cheney’s direct appeal to Pat Cipollone

Thursday 7 July 2022 13:00 , Andrew Naughtie

At the last 6 January hearing, which featured the devastating testimony of former Mark Meadows aide Cassidy Hutchinson, Liz Cheney delievered a wrap-up statement in which she directly appealed to ex-White House counsel Pat Cipollone to break his silence and talk to her panel.

In her address, Ms Cheney acknowledged that former Trump administration officials of all ranks are under intense pressure not to testify, Mr Cipollone among them. But since Ms Hutchinson testified and with the public pressure on him mounting, Mr Cipollone has since agreed to talk – albeit in private.

Trump-backed candidate’s alarming online history resurfaces

Thursday 7 July 2022 12:25 , Andrew Naughtie

Businessman Blake Masters enjoys the backing of Donald Trump in his campaign to get the GOP Senate nomination in Arizona, a must-win seat in a state that has obsessed the former president since he lost it in 2020.

But Mr Masters has been hit by more than one unedifying story about his appeal to the far right. He was recently obliged to reject the endorsement of neo-Nazi blogger Andrew Anglin, founder of the infamous Daily Stormer site – and now, he is being haunted by old posts he left on a CrossFit forum and a libertarian site in the 2000s.

Among the messages he left was one floating an antisemitic conspiracy theory about the US’s entry into World War I, a post that ended with a quote from one of the most senior officers of the Third Reich.

How do you pronounce “Cipollone”?

Thursday 7 July 2022 11:30 , Andrew Naughtie

SIP-pol-LO-nee. That’s the correct pronunciation of Pat Cipollone’s surname, an important thing to know as the former White House Counsel prepares to talk to the 6 January committee after more than a year of back-and-forth.

Not everyone finds it easy – and automated closed-captioning software has a particular challenge decscribing the man it calls “Patsy Baloney”.

ICYMI: FBI chief and deputy targeted by Trump both targeted with IRS audits

Thursday 7 July 2022 10:55 , Andrew Naughtie

Two high-ranking FBI officials who became the personal enemies of Donald Trump when he was president were later targeted by the IRS for rare audits of their tax filings that experts said raised questions about whether the move was political.

James Comey and Andrew McCabe, former FBI director and deputy director, respectively, were audited by the IRS after leaving the agency following the Trump-Russia investigation which infuriated then-President Donald Trump and led to his claims that the “deep state” was working to overthrow him.

The New York Times first reported their audits on Wednesday, noting that the two did not know about the coincidence themselves until a Times reporter informed them.

John Bowden has the story.

FBI chief and deputy targeted by Trump both underwent rare intensive IRS audits

Biden invokes Trump on stage

Thursday 7 July 2022 10:19 , Andrew Naughtie

In a rare use of his predecessor’s name in public, Joe Biden entertained a crowd in Cleveland, Ohio by jesting that Donald Trump was calling him onstage.

Mr Biden was there to highlight federal action to shore up troubled pension funding for millions now on the job or retired. His speech at a Cleveland high school showcased a final rule tied to his $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package from last year. The rule allows troubled multi-company pensions to be made financially whole, ensuring full benefits for 2 million to 3 million workers and retirees.

Read more from Gustaf Kilander:

Biden jokes ‘unfortunately that’s probably Trump calling me’ as phone goes off

Lindsey Graham will not comply with Georgia election probe subpoena

Thursday 7 July 2022 09:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Attorneys for Senator Lindsey Graham say he will not comply with a subpoena issued to him as part of a Fulton County, Georgia grand jury investigation into former president Donald Trump’s push to overturn Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory in the Peach State.

In a statement provided to The Independent, attorneys Bart Daniel and Matt Austin say Fulton County investigators have told them Mr Graham is “simply a witness” and “neither a subject nor target of the investigation” but dismissed the investigation being overseen by Fulton County DA Fani Willis as “all politics”.

Andrew Feinberg reports.

Senator Lindsey Graham will not comply with subpoena in Georgia election probe

Kinzinger posts video detailing vulgar death threats

Thursday 7 July 2022 09:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump and his service on the House January 6 select committee have prompted Mr Trump’s supporters to repeatedly call into his office and leave vulgar death threats on the office’s voicemail box.

Mr Kinzinger, an Iraq and Afghanistan veteran who still holds a reserve commission as a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air National Guard, revealed the horrific threats in a compilation of them which he posted to his Twitter account on Tuesday.

Andrew Feinberg reports on the vile threats to which Mr Kinzinger has been subjected.

Adam Kinzinger posts video detailing vulgar death threats

Giuliani says Trump should have pardoned himself

Thursday 7 July 2022 08:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Disgraced lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who played a key role in the long chain of events leading to the January 6 attack on the Capitol, has mused that Donald Trump should have pardoned himself before leaving office.

Speaking on his personal podcast, Mr Giuliani remarked that it appears the ex-president is likely to face charges because of what has been uncovered by the committee investigating the riot.

Andrew Naughtie has the story.

Giuliani says Trump should have pardoned himself before leaving office

Fox & Friends mocked over criticism of Boris Johnson for being dishonest, mishandling Covid and refusing to leave office... despite years of supporting Trump

Thursday 7 July 2022 22:33 , Oliver O'Connell

The hosts of Fox & Friends have been mocked for criticizing Boris Johnson for being dishonest and refusing to resign after the programme spent years supporting former President Donald Trump.

“Irony was murdered, resurrected, and then killed again about five different times in this clip. A classic,” said journalist Aaron Rupar.

Trump-supporting Fox & Friends mocked over criticism of Boris Johnson for dishonesty

Biden’s communications director leaving the White House

Thursday 7 July 2022 07:15 , Oliver O'Connell

White House communications director Kate Bedingfield is departing in the coming weeks, the Biden administration announced on Thursday, marking an end to a parnership that spanned back to Joe Biden’s time as vice president.

Politico and The Wall Street Journal reported the news first on Wednesday, citing White House officials who said that Ms Bedingfield had begun notifying associates of her impending departure. A White House spokesperson later confirmed the news to The Independent.

John Bowden reports.

Biden’s communications director Kate Bedingfield is leaving the White House

More subpoenas likely coming for Trump’s inner circle

Thursday 7 July 2022 07:12 , Shweta Sharma

Georgia district attorney Fani Willis, who is investigating Donald Trump’s attempt to influence the election result there, said additional subpoenas are likely to follow for associates and allies in his inner circle.

She also suggested there was the possibility of subpoenaing the former president himself.

“We’ll just have to see where the investigation leads us,” Ms Willis told NBC News.

“I think that people thought that we came into this as some kind of game,” she continued. “This is not a game at all. What I am doing is very serious. It’s very important work. And we’re going to do our due diligence and making sure that we look at all aspects of the case.”

Donald Trump fears inner secrets being revealed to ‘hostile Committee'

Thursday 7 July 2022 06:56 , Shweta Sharma

As Donald Trump’s White House counsel Pat Cipollone is set to testify before the Jan 6 panel, the former president has lashed out at the idea that the “lawyer for the country” could be made to reveal conversations about the “inner secrets” of the White House.

“Why would a future President of the United States want to have candid and important conversations with his White House Counsel if he thought there was even a small chance that this person, essentially acting as a ‘lawyer’ for the Country, may some day be brought before a partisan and openly hostile Committee in Congress, or even a fair and reasonable Committee, to reveal the inner secrets of foreign policy or other important matters,” he said on Truth Social.

“So bad for the USA!”

Trump press aide to testify at Jan 6 committee hearing

Thursday 7 July 2022 06:15 , Oliver O'Connell

A former Trump White House staffer who resigned after the 6 January riot at the US Capitol is set to testify publicly to the select committee investigating the incident.

Sarah Matthews, who served as deputy press secretary in the later phase of the administration, will reportedly be appearing by agreement at a future hearing after receiving a subpoena, according to CNN.

Andrew Naughtie reports.

Trump press aide who quit after Capitol riot to testify at Jan 6 committee hearing

Capitol rioters’ reaction to Trump video in real time

Thursday 7 July 2022 05:15 , Oliver O'Connell

A new video of the scene inside the Capitol itself shows the minutes immediately following the White House’s release of a video in which Donald Trump instructed his supporters to leave the building.

Posted on Twitter by NBC News’s Ryan J. Reilly on Tuesday, it was apparently shot by Pam Hemphill, a participant in riot who was sentences to 60 days in prison for her presence inside the Capitol as Trump supporters fought police and stormed the building.

In the video, an unidentified woman is seen demanding to know when the video was recorded, insisting (correctly) that it was not a live feed; she apparently did not realise it had been released by Donald Trump himself on Twitter just minutes earlier.

John Bowden reports:

New video shows Capitol rioters’ reaction to Trump video in real time

‘I’m not a crazy Republican. I’m a reasonable person'

Thursday 7 July 2022 04:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Brian Dahle, the Republican Party’s longshot hope to unseat Gov. Gavin Newsom in California, knows that to win in his progressive home state he can’t allow Democrats to label him as an election denying, abortion-hating, gun-loving, bombastic right-winger.

It’s why Dahle, an affable farmer and state senator from the sparsely populated northeast corner of the state, goes out of his way to make one thing clear: “I’m not a crazy Republican. I’m a reasonable person.”

Read on:

Newsom's opponent: I'm reasonable, not a 'crazy Republican'

ICYMI: Cheney refuses to rule out 2024 presidential run

Thursday 7 July 2022 03:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Liz Cheney, the vice-chairman of the House January 6 select committee, said during her first sit-down interview since the public hearings kicked off last month that she hasn’t ruled out making a bid for president in 2024.

“I’ll make a decision about ’24 down the road,” the Wyoming Republican said during a pre-recorded interview on ABC’s This Week on Sunday.

Johanna Chisholm reports.

Liz Cheney refuses to rule out presidential run against ‘dangerous’ Trump in 2024

Russian state TV host muses whether Putin should ‘reinstall Trump’

Thursday 7 July 2022 02:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Russian state television propagandist Olga Skabeeva took aim at former president Donald Trump, implying the Russian government may think twice about mounting any campaign to support him should he choose to run in the 2024 presidential election.

Skabeeva made the remarks during a recent edition of her 60 Minutes political talk show, according to a clip with English translations posted to Twitter by Russian media analyst Julia Davis.

Andrew Feinberg reports.

Russian state TV host muses whether Putin should ‘reinstall Trump’

McConnell says Americans aren’t working because they are ‘flush’

Thursday 7 July 2022 02:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Mitch McConnell has claimed that the US labour shortage is due to people unwilling to work because they are “flush at the moment”.

The Republican Senate Minority Leader was speaking at an event in Paducah, Kentucky on Tuesday when he pitched his theory of why businesses are struggling to hire people.

“You’ve got a whole lot of people sitting on the sidelines because, frankly, they’re flush for the moment,” Mr McConnell said. “What we’ve got to hope is once they run out of money, they’ll start concluding it’s better to work than not to work.”

Mitch McConnell says Americans aren’t working because they are ‘flush’ at the moment

Lindsey Graham will not comply with Georgia election probe subpoena

Thursday 7 July 2022 01:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Attorneys for Senator Lindsey Graham say he will not comply with a subpoena issued to him as part of a Fulton County, Georgia grand jury investigation into former president Donald Trump’s push to overturn Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory in the Peach State.

In a statement provided to The Independent, attorneys Bart Daniel and Matt Austin say Fulton County investigators have told them Mr Graham is “simply a witness” and “neither a subject nor target of the investigation” but dismissed the investigation being overseen by Fulton County DA Fani Willis as “all politics”.

Andrew Feinberg has more details.

Senator Lindsey Graham will not comply with subpoena in Georgia election probe

Biden jokes 'Trump calling me’ as phone goes off mid-speech

Thursday 7 July 2022 00:30 , Oliver O'Connell

President Joe Biden was speaking about the next phase of his economic agenda and his American Rescue Plan in Cleveland, Ohio, when a phone rang in the audience.

Gustaf Kilander reports on how the president made light of the moment.

Biden jokes ‘unfortunately that’s probably Trump calling me’ as phone goes off

Ex-Trump White House counsel Pat Cipollone to testify to Jan 6 committee

Wednesday 6 July 2022 23:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Former Trump White House counsel Pat Cipollone will give evidence in closed session before the House January 6 select committee this week, following multiple calls for his testimony from committee members.

Mr Cipollone, who served as former president Donald Trump’s top White House lawyer from 2019 to the end of his term in January 2021, has previously met with the panel on an informal basis, but he has now agreed to a transcribed interview with select committee members and investigators.

Andrew Feinberg has the latest.

Ex-Trump White House counsel Pat Cipollone to testify before January 6 committee

Giuliani says Trump should have pardoned himself

Wednesday 6 July 2022 23:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Disgraced lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who played a key role in the long chain of events leading to the January 6 attack on the Capitol, has mused that Donald Trump should have pardoned himself before leaving office.

Speaking on his personal podcast, Mr Giuliani remarked that it appears the ex-president is likely to face charges because of what has been uncovered by the committee investigating the riot.

Andrew Naughtie reports:

Giuliani says Trump should have pardoned himself before leaving office

Trump teases return of his Boeing 757

Wednesday 6 July 2022 22:51 , Oliver O'Connell

Former President Donald Trump has teased the return of his Boeing 757 on which he campaigned in the 2016 election.

He posted on Truth Social it will be returning to the skies in the Fall of 2022 “or maybe sooner” adding to rumours that he may announce a 2024 run for the presidency sooner than expected.

During my four years in the White House, I didn’t use everybody’s favorite airplane, the Boeing 757 we campaigned on for our big 2016 WIN. Now it has been completely modernized and renovated, and looks GREAT, all done in the Great State of Louisiana, and coming back to the skies in the Fall of 2022, or maybe sooner. Get ready!

He linked to a YouTube clip of the refurbishment of the aircraft.

Opinion: What Donald Trump Jr’s creepy obsession with Amber Heard really tells us

Wednesday 6 July 2022 22:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Kathleen N Walsh writes:

Don Jr. implied he believed Amber Heard back in 2017, when he tweeted about her injuries and referred to Johnny Depp as left-wing. But then his viewpoint changed — and thus began a spiraling obsession with no end in sight.

Inside Donald Trump Jr.’s creepy obsession with Amber Heard

Another former Trump aide to appear at public Jan 6 hearing

Wednesday 6 July 2022 22:00 , Oliver O'Connell

A former Trump White House staffer who resigned after the 6 January riot at the US Capitol is set to testify publicly to the select committee investigating the incident.

Sarah Matthews, who served as deputy press secretary in the later phase of the administration, will reportedly be appearing by agreement at a future hearing after receiving a subpoena, according to CNN.

Ms Matthews has already testified to the committee in a videotaped deposition, part of which was featured at a hearing last month. She has also been an outspoken critic of the Trump team’s conduct leading up to the events of January 6, and spoke out to defend her former colleague Cassidy Hutchinson after the latter’s devastating testimony at a recent televised hearing.

Read more:

Trump press aide who quit after Capitol riot to testify at Jan 6 committee hearing

ICYMI: Trump still trading on supposedly resilient popularity

Wednesday 6 July 2022 21:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump was consistently unpopular with the American people throughout his presidency, but never admitted as much. And based on his activity on Truth Social lately, he is still as fixated as ever on the idea that he is scoring high ratings among the electorate.

This he tried to prove by sharing a month-old piece from CNN.

Maroosha Muzaffar has more.

Donald Trump boasts popularity has gone up since Jan 6 in Truth Social posting frenzy

GOP accuses Jan 6 panel of Watergate-style data grab over fundraising subpoena

Wednesday 6 July 2022 21:00 , Oliver O'Connell

One of the 6 January committee’s most fraught subpoenas is one served to technology company Salesforce, whom it wants to turn over specific information about fundraising emails sent out by the Republican National Committee to supporters after the 2020 election.

The party has been fighting the subpoena in court for some time, claiming in a new filing that it amounts to a shameless violation of political privacy and a “strategic decapitation of its political opponents” on the level of Richard Nixon’s machinations as exposed in the Watergate scandal. The RNC has already lost one legal action on this front, in front of a Trump-appointed judge no less, but it appears to be trying the same arguments again.

The next hearing will focus on how the crowd that attacked the Capitol was assembled, with radicalisation of the Republican grassroots expected to be a key theme.

Adam Kinzinger shares threats phoned into his office

Wednesday 6 July 2022 20:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Illinois Representative Adam Kinzinger’s criticism of former president Donald Trump and his service on the House January 6 select committee have prompted Mr Trump’s supporters to repeatedly call into his office and leave vulgar death threats on the office’s voicemail box.

Mr Kinzinger, an Iraq and Afghanistan veteran who still holds a reserve commission as a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air National Guard, revealed the horrific threats in a compilation of them which he posted to his Twitter account on Tuesday.

“Threats of violence over politics has increased heavily in the last few years. But the darkness has reached new lows,” he wrote, adding that the compilation of threats was put together by the interns who are charged with answering his phones at his Washington, DC office.

One caller gets right to the point, telling the congressman: “I guess I can’t say a whole lot more other than I hope you naturally die as quickly as f***ing possible you f***ing piece of s***”.

Andrew Feinberg has more:

Adam Kinzinger posts video detailing vulgar death threats

At next hearing, focus turns to Trump’s role in gathering Capitol mob

Wednesday 6 July 2022 20:00 , Oliver O'Connell

The Jan 6 committee will meet for its next public hearing a week from Tuesday, lawmakers have announced.

A short notice was posted on Twitter by the panel’s members late Tuesday afternoon. The news comes a week exactly since the last hearing of the riot committee featured the explosive testimony of Cassidy Hutchinson, a high-ranking White House staffer.

The next hearing will focus on Donald Trump and his allies’ role in luring thousands of Mr Trump’s supporters to the nation’s capital for the day of the riot itself, members revealed in interviews over the weekend.

John Bowden reports.

Jan 6 hearing: Next date revealed as focus turns to Trump’s role in assembling mob

ICYMI: Behind the scenes with the Trumps

Wednesday 6 July 2022 19:30 , Oliver O'Connell

A new trailer has been released from the bombshell Jan 6 documentary that has rocked the congressional probe into the Capitol riot.

The footage from Unprecedented reveals the incredible level of access the former first family gave to UK filmmaker Alex Holder.

In the trailer, Ivanka Trump can be seen joking about using a dog to cover her wrinkled dress and her brother Eric is also seen taking a mysterious call. It also features Ivanka’s husband Jared Kushner and older brother Don Jr.

Gustaf Kilander reports.

Ivanka jokes about dress in new Jan 6 documentary trailer

When is the next Jan 6 insurrection committee hearing?

Wednesday 6 July 2022 19:00 , Oliver O'Connell

The House select committee investigating the failed insurrection at the US Capitol on 6 January 2021 initially only planned to hold six public hearings, according to a draft schedule, but has just announced its seventh.

Further sessions became necessary due to the sheer weight of evidence available regarding the deadly attack on the heart of government in Washington, DC, carried out by enraged supporters of Donald Trump attempting to overturn his 2020 presdential election defeat.

When is the next Jan 6 insurrection committee hearing?

Trucker convoy leader arrested along National Mall

Wednesday 6 July 2022 18:30 , Oliver O'Connell

The leader of the trucker convoy that tried and failed multiple times to ensnare traffic around Washington DC was arrested on Wednesday after his group achieved mild success for the very first time.

David “Santa” Riddell was arrested along the National Mall in downtown Washington DC early in the morning on Wednesday. The Daily Beast first reported that he faced two traffic citations as well as one arrestable offense: Failure to obey the commands of a police officer.

John Bowden reports from Washington, DC.

Trucker convoy leader arrested along National Mall in Washington DC

Jan 6 panel member on witness cooperation

Wednesday 6 July 2022 18:00 , Andrew Naughtie

Stephanie Murphy, one of the Democrats on the 6 January panel, gave an interview this morning in which she discussed the difference made by Trump administration witnesses who have decided to put country above party or political imperatives:

Analysis: Why Sarah Matthews’ upcoming appearance matters

Wednesday 6 July 2022 17:30 , Andrew Naughtie

Andrew Feinberg writes that for all the public might not know who she is, Sarah Matthews – like Cassidy Hutchinson before her – is the embodiment of a particular kind of Washington insider that can prove enormously dangerous to a former boss.

If you look at photos of White House meetings, there’s always an outer ring of chairs populated by people who staff the decision-makers — or the principals — seated around the table. People with titles such as Special Assistant and Deputy Assistant and Assistant this-or-that will often circulate between offices while making arrangements and relaying messages between the bold-faced names they serve.

Yet those principals often forget that the young staffers – often no older than their mid-20s – are in the room. The twentysomethings who keep Washington running are often invisible to all but a select few (usually reporters) who know to pay attention.

Read the full analysis below.

The problem Donald Trump didn’t see coming

Caution on Cipollone

Wednesday 6 July 2022 17:00 , Andrew Naughtie

Kyle Cheney points out that it is still unclear just what Pat Cipollone has agreed to offer the Jan 6 committee – and the nature of what they’ve agreed will greatly determine what if anything the public eventually finds out about what he tells them.

Giuliani says Trump should have given himself a pardon

Wednesday 6 July 2022 16:30 , Andrew Naughtie

Rudy Giuliani, who reportedly asked Donald Trump for a pre-emptive pardon after 6 January and is now facing various legal risks, speculated this morning that his former boss might be having an easier time of it today had he issued himself a pardon before leaving office.

Pat Cipollone to give closed-door testimony to Jan 6 panel

Wednesday 6 July 2022 16:06 , Andrew Naughtie

After the Jan 6 committee ramped up its public pressure on him to give testimony, former Trump White House counsel Pat Cipollone has reportedly agreed to talk to the panel – albeit behind closed doors.

His perspective on the days leading up to and including 6 January itself will be crucial because of his direct involvement in helping fend off Mr Trump’s attempt to fully instrumentalise the Justice Department.

Lindsey Graham to defy Georgia subpoena

Wednesday 6 July 2022 15:50 , Andrew Naughtie

Attorneys for Senator Lindsey Graham say he will not comply with a subpoena issued to him as part of a Fulton County, Georgia grand jury investigation into former president Donald Trump’s push to overturn Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory in the Peach State.

In a statement provided to The Independent, attorneys Bart Daniel and Matt Austin say Fulton County investigators have told them Mr Graham is “simply a witness” and “neither a subject nor target of the investigation” but dismissed the investigation being overseen by Fulton County DA Fani Willis as “all politics”.

The attorneys further accused Ms Willis of conducting a “fishing expedition” and “working in concert with the January 6 Committee in Washington”.

“Any information from an interview or deposition with Senator Graham would immediately be shared with the January 6 Committee,” the attorneys said, though they offered no evidence to support their claims.

Andrew Feinberg has the story.

Senator Lindsey Graham will not comply with subpoena in Georgia election probe

Russian TV speculates about Trump returning prematurely

Wednesday 6 July 2022 15:30 , Andrew Naughtie

Russian state television propagandist Olga Skabeeva took aim at former president Donald Trump, implying the Russian government may think twice about mounting any campaign to support him should he choose to run in the 2024 presidential election.

Skabeeva made the remarks during a recent edition of her 60 Minutes political talk show, according to a clip with English translations posted to Twitter by Russian media analyst Julia Davis.

“The other day, Trump promised to destroy the Russian Federation, to destroy Putin’s hegemony, as he put it,” she said.

Andrew Feinberg has more.

Russian state TV host muses whether Putin should ‘reinstall Trump’

Kinzinger pays tribute to Cassidy Hutchinson and other witnesses

Wednesday 6 July 2022 15:00 , Andrew Naughtie

Adam Kinzinger, who yesterday shared a shocking compilation of abusive and threatening voicemails received by his staff, has been singing the praises of Cassidy Hutchinson and other Trump administration veterans who have come forward to tell the Jan 6 committee about what they witnessed during the ex-president’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

Trump real estate firm found in contempt by New York court

Wednesday 6 July 2022 14:30 , Andrew Naughtie

Away from his Jan 6 troubles, Donald Trump is still facing major trouble in the form of the New York Attorney General’s probe into his business dealings.

Now, a real estate firm involved in the case has been held in contempt of court for failing to produce documents subpoenaed in the probe. Cushman & Wakefield will now have to pay a fine of $10,000 a day until it complies with the request.

In characteristic style, Mr Trump has described the probe as a politically motivated witch-hunt and decried Attorney General Letitia James as a “racist”.

Report: House GOP prepares to persecute Jan 6 panel after midterms

Wednesday 6 July 2022 14:00 , Andrew Naughtie

With the Republicans almost certain to take control of the House after this year’s midterm elections, Axios reports that senior right-wing members of key committees are planning a full-on investigation of the Jan 6 committee’s activities in an attempt to discredit the already devastating evidence unearthed.

The site quotes one senior staffer saying that "When Republicans retake the majority, we will exercise our oversight responsibilities including subpoena authority to review all transcripts and information that the committee has access to in order to identify the truth."

Another GOP aide offered this ominous line: “The base is out for blood on subpoenas. A lot of it will just depend on how far McCarthy wants to go.”

Read more below.

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