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Jan 6 hearings – live: Gaetz ‘asked for pardon’, as Trump pressured DoJ over false election claims

·63-min read
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Thursday’s January 6 hearings have taken an in-depth look at how Donald Trump and his allies put extreme pressure on the Justice Department to help overturn the 2020 election.

Former acting deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue told the committee that Mr Trump instructed him personally to say that the election was “corrupt,” and that he would use that as the impetus for Congress to act and refuse to certify the results.

“Just say it was corrupt and leave the rest to me and the Republican congressmen,” Donald Trump said, in words read aloud by Jan 6 committee member Adam Kinzinger.

Even after being repeatedly brief by DOJ officials that his election claims were meritless, Mr Trump still said he considered supporters who rioted at the Capitol “smart” because of their views the presidential contest was stolen.

“They were angry from the standpoint of what happened in the election,” Mr Trump told filmmaker Alex Holder. “Because they’re smart, and they see and they saw what happened, and I believe that that was a big part of what happened on January 6.”

As Republicans’ plan to challenge the election progressed, congressmembers Matt Gaetz, Marjorie Taylor Greene and Mo Brooks all sought pardons from Donald Trump.

Key points

  • Trump told DOJ to say election was corrupt and ‘leave the rest to me’ and GOP, Jan 6 hearing told

  • Matt Gaetz, Marjorie Taylor Greene and Mo Brooks asked for pardons from Trump, Jan 6 hearing told

  • Trump calls Capitol rioters ‘smart’ in clip from documentary that shocked his aides

  • Committee details pressure campaign to elevate Trump ally in DOJ

  • FBI raids, subpoenas and new evidence leads Jan 6 committee to expand hearings

  • Donald Trump exploded in DOJ meeting and threatened leaders with firing

  • Pence seen reacting to bid to force Trump from office using 25th amendment in documentary clip

January 6 kicked off an era of political violence

02:00 , Josh Marcus

Each day, it seems like American politics are getting more and more violent.

We’ve got multiple stories today of politicians and those tied to Washington facing death threats for their positions.

January 6, hopefully, was the peak of an increasingly violent era of US politics, but it doesn’t seem to be the end of it.

Eric Greitens’ ex-wife says she’s facing death threats after his RINO video

Rep Swalwell shares recording of death threat after attack by Marjorie Taylor Greene

Trump saw Jan 6 violence as ‘inevitable’ and was ‘jovial’ after Capitol riot, British filmmaker says

01:45 , Josh Marcus

British filmmaker Alex Holder told CBS News in an interview on Thursday night that President Donald Trump saw the violence of January 6 as an “inevitablity” and was “jovial” in the hours following the Capitol riot.

Mr Holder, whose documentary footage was reviewed by the Jan 6 committee, testified today behind closed doors about what he saw while following Mr Trump and his inner circle during the months leading up to and following the 2020 election.

Following his testimony and the public release of select footage from his upcoming three-part documentary series set to premiere on Discovery Plus later this summer, Mr Holder spoke to CBS News — telling host Norah O’Donnell that he predicted the violence of January 6.

“The volume of rhetoric and sort of the belligerence that was coming out post the election was so significant that, in my mind, it eventually had to end with something violent,” Mr Holder said. “Even if you look at the way the campaign was going on before, the idea of the election being something that was going to be irregular was already coming up during that time as well. So to me, January 6 doesn’t happen by itself.”

Abe Asher has all the details.

Ivanka Trump wanted father to ‘fight’ election, despite testifying she accepted 2020 results, film shows

01:30 , Josh Marcus

Ivanka Trump wanted her father to continue fighting the 2020 election result well into December, new documentary footage shows, contradicting her testimony in the recent 6 January hearings that she quickly accepted Donald Trump’s election loss.

The former president’s daughter wanted Mr Trump to “continue to fight until every legal remedy is exhausted,” she told a film crew in mid-December, as part of a yet-to-be-released documentary.

“As the president has said, every single vote needs to be counted and needs to be heard, and he campaigned for the voiceless,” Ms Trump said in an interview for the forthcoming series Unprecendented, according to footage obtained by CNN.

Here’s the clip, which was released this Thursday.

Read more about Ms Trump’s testimony to the January 6 hearings in our story from earlier this week.

Ivanka Trump wanted father to ‘fight’ election, despite claims she accepted 2020 loss

Filmmaker who interviewed Donald Trump after January 6 says president thought violence was ‘inevitable'

01:15 , Josh Marcus

Alex Holder interviewed Donald Trump in the days immediately after January 6.

The documentarian, who spoke with Mr Trump and other top campaign figures for the forthcoming documentary series Unprecedented, says the president seemed to see post-election violence as an “inevitability.”

“If you’re telling 75 million people that their election doesn’t count and they believe you, you’re their president, they voted for you, then what else is gonna happen?” he said in an interview on CBS News on Thursday.

“I think the president saw it as an invetability, in that the people who were there were doing what they thought was correct, that they were fighting for their election, for their votes to be counted,” he continued.

The British filmmaker had been following the final days of the Trump election push for the series, and said Mr Trump’s rhetoric was growing increasingly violent.

“The volume of rhetoric and sort of the belligerence that was coming out post-election was so signifincant that, in my mind, it had to end with something violent,” he said.

“To me, January 6 doesn’t happy by itself.”Watch the full interview here.

And here’s Andrew Buncombe’s profile of Mr Holder.

The little known British filmmaker came to be at the centre of case against Trump

We now know the names of Republicans who asked for pardons after January 6. Remember them

01:00 , Josh Marcus

As Thursday’s hearings illuminated, Donald Trump waged a frenzied campaign to get the DOJ on his side and back up his false election claims.

Top officials were so incensed and concerned about Mr Trump’s intentions they threatened to resign en masse.

As columnist Ahmed Baba argues in his latest, “If this wasn’t clear before, it’s certainly clear after tonight’s hearing: The only widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election was Donald Trump’s widespread effort to overturn it.”

Read more here.

We now know the names of Republicans who asked for pardons after Jan 6. Remember them

More Nixon flashbacks at the January 6 hearings

00:45 , Josh Marcus

In addition to just about every journalist in Washington, Donald Trump, and citizens around the country, one John Wesley Dean III was watching Thursday’s January 6 hearings.

Mr Dean served as White House counsel for president Richard Nixon and helped cover up the Watergate burglary, before agreeing to cooperate with Senate investigators and testify publicly about the scandal and resulting efforts to conceal it.

On Thursday, Mr Dean posted a photo on Twitter showing him watching the hearings alongside other former Nixon officials.

Alex Holder: How a little known British filmmaker came to be at the centre of the case against Trump

00:30 , Josh Marcus

Up close? For sure. Personal? Perhaps not.

Alex Holder, a little-known British filmmaker, has found himself at the centre of an unlikely political storm, after it emerged the committee investigating the Jan 6 attacks had issued a subpoena, calling on him to hand over hours of footage of Donald Trump and his family he had filmed for a documentary in the last weeks of 2020, and of the events of the day of the storming of the US Capitol.

He had shot it for inclusion in a yet to be released three-part documentary about the final months of the Trump presidency. The film – Unprecedented – is slated to be released this summer and has been bought by Discovery Plus.

The committee also requested that Holder provide an interview to committee members himself, something he agreed to do, and which happened on Thursday morning, shortly before the “National Commission to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the United States Capitol Complex” held its fifth public session.

Andrew Buncombe has the full profile.

The little known British filmmaker came to be at the centre of case against Trump

Matt Gaetz, Mo Brooks and Louie Gohmert among lawmakers who asked for pardons from Trump, Jan 6 hearing told

00:15 , Josh Marcus

Representatives Mo Brooks, Matt Gaetz, Andy Biggs, Louie Gohmert and Scott Perry were among the Republican members of Congress who asked then-president Donald Trump to insulate them from future prosecutions by granting them presidential pardons in the days immediately following the attack on the US Capitol on January 6 last year.

Their names were revealed by the House January 6 select committee hearing on Thursday that examined Mr Trump’s efforts to pressure the Department of Justice to assist in his efforts to overturn his 2020 election loss to Joe Biden.

Cassidy Hutchinson, a former special assistant to the president, said Mr Gaetz and Mr Brooks had both advocated for a “blanket pardon” for members involved in a December meeting to plan for events on January 6.

“Mr Gaetz was personally pushing for a pardon and was doing so since early December,” she said in pre-recorded testimony played by the committee.

The Independent’s Andrew Feinberg has more.

Here are the members of Congress who asked Trump for a pardon after January 6

‘Pure insanity’: Jan 6 committee hears pro-Trump conspiracy theory involving vote-switching Italian satellites

00:00 , Josh Marcus

Donald Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows requested that the US Department of Justice call the Italian government to consider a conspiracy theory that migrated from QAnon-linked corners of the internet to the White House, according to a House select committee investigation into the baseless voter fraud narrative that fuelled violence at the US Capitol on 6 January.

Mr Meadows – according to documents first obtained by members of Congress and reviewed by news outlets last year – reportedly told then-acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen in the wake of Mr Trump’s 2020 presidential election loss to investigate spurious fraud claims in states that he lost.

He allegedly pressed Mr Rosen to investigate several debunked allegations, including a “theory” that Italian officials in coordination with Barack Obama and the CIA used satellites and military technology to manipulate US voting machines, a claim that circulated among QAnon-affiliated groups and far-right media outlets before coming to the attention of Republican congressman Scott Perry, who sent a YouTube link to Mr Meadows.

“Why can’t we just work with the Italian government?” Mr Perry wrote to Mr Meadows on 31 December, 2020, according to texts obtained by the committee. The video was posted on YouTube on 18 December.

Alex Woodward has more on this strange story.

Jan 6 committee hears pro-Trump conspiracy theory involving Italian satellites

January 6 hearing challenges claim that Rep. Scott Perry didn’t seek pardon

23:48 , Josh Marcus

As the campaign to overturn the 2020 election result heated up, numerous Republicans reached out to the White House to secure a pardon.

Among them was Pennsylvania congressman Scott Perry, according to Cassidy Hutchinson, who worked for the White House chief of staff’s office.

In pre-taped testimony played in Congress on Thursday, she said she was contacted directly by the GOP rep about a “pre-emptive” pardon.

Mr Perry has denied he ever sought a pardon.

“The notion that I ever sought a Presidential pardon for myself or other Members of Congress is an absolute, shameless, and soulless lie,” he wrote on social media earlier this month.

‘Pure insanity’: White House wanted DOJ to pursue conspiracy theory that Italian satellite meddled in election

23:30 , Josh Marcus

DOJ officials testified today about the numerous ways the Trump White House and its allies pressured them to cast doubt on the 2020 election result, even though they were existensively briefed that their claims were false.

Richard Donoghue, former acting deputy attorney general, described how White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and Pennsyvlania congressman Scott Perry urged him to look into an internet conspiracy theory that an Italian defence satelite somehow compromise the election.

The DOJ official said the claims were “pure insanity” and “patently absurd.”

Mr Meadows kept at it, however, calling acting attorney general Jeffrey Rosen and asking him to meet with one of the men featured in a YouTube video about the Italy story.

“I told him this whole thing about Italy had been debunked, and that should be the end of that,” Mr Rosen told the January 6 committee on Thursday. “If he has real evidence, which this video doesn’t show, he can walk into an FBI field office anywhere in the United States. There’s 55 of them.”

WATCH: White House advisor details GOP attempts to get pardons for election scheme

23:15 , Josh Marcus

Multiple Republicans in Congress, including Matt Gaetz, Mo Brooks, Andy Biggs, Louie Gohmert, and Scott Perry all asked the White House for pardons in the context of the plan to challenge the 2020 election.

“The general tone was, we may get prosecuted because we were defensive of the president’s positions on these things,” former White House senior advisor Eric Herschmann said in pre-taped testimony played for the commitee on Thursday.

The former official said the pardons being sought seemed to cover conduct “from the beginning of time up until today,” he went on, noting that, “[Richard] Nixon’s pardon was never nearly that broad.”

Trump asked ‘Kraken’ conspiracy theorist Sidney Powell to be a special counsel, she confirms to Jan 6 committee

23:00 , Josh Marcus

Donald Trump personally tapped conspiracy theorist and attorney Sidney Powell to be a “special counsel” working in the White House to investigate his allegations of voter and election fraud, though he never went through with her appointment, Ms Powell testified to the Jan 6 committee on Thursday.

The former Trump attorney’s testimony to the Jan 6 committee was one of several pieces of witness testimony revealed publicly for the first time by the select committee at the hearing.

“On Friday, he had asked me to be a special counsel to address the election issues,” she told the lawmakers.

Mr Trump’s offer had been previously reported by The New York Times in December of 2020, just a few weeks before the January 6 riot, but never confirmed publicly by either the president or Ms Powell before now.

John Bowden has the story.

Donald Trump was willing to ‘undermine’ US democracy to defend his ‘very fragile ego’: Adam Kinzinger

22:45 , Josh Marcus

The committee just heard closing statements.

“The facts were irrelevant to president Trump,” Illinois congressman Adam Kinzinger said. “It was about protecting his very real power and his very fragilfe ego, even it if it meant recklessly undermining our entire electoral system.”

Mr Kinzinger said he’s worried another attempt to overturn the election could happen again.

“I’m still worried that not enough has changed to prevent this from happening again,” he continued. “The oath that we take has to mean something.”

Matt Gaetz, Marjorie Taylor Greene and Mo Brooks asked for pardons from Trump, Jan 6 hearing told

22:30 , Josh Marcus

Representatives Mo Brooks, Matt Gaetz, Andy Biggs, Louis Gohmert, Marjorie Taylor Greene and Scott Perry were among the Republican members of Congress who asked then-president Donald Trump to insulate them from future prosecutions by granting them presidential pardons in the days immediately following the attack on the US Capitol on January 6 last year.

Their names were revealed by the House January 6 select committee on Thursday at the end of the panel’s hearing to examine Mr Trump’s efforts to pressure the Department of Justice to assist in his efforts to overturn his 2020 election loss to Joe Biden.

The select committee played videotaped excerpts from depositions of former Trump White House staffers, who described the Republican members’ efforts to obtain clemency after Mr Trump’s scheme brought about the worst attack on the Capitol since the War of 1812.

“The general tone because we may get prosecuted because we work The President’s positions on these things,” said former deputy White House counsel Eric Herschmann, who confirmed to the panel that Mr Gaetz asked for a pardon.

Richard Hall and Andrew Feinberg have more.

Matt Gaetz, Marjorie Taylor Greene and Mo Brooks asked Trump for pardons after Jan 6

The reviews are in: Donald Trump calls Day 5 of hearings a ‘Kangaroo Court'

22:17 , Josh Marcus

Donald Trump is fuming about the January 6 hearings, posting numerous messages on his app Truth Social throughout the committee’s proceedings on Thursday.

He argued that the committee was failing to present the president’s side of the story or air out his thoroughly debunked claims about a stolen election.

“They refuse to go there, they want it all CANCELED, because it would be IMPOSSIBLE for the Unselect Committee to refute or challenge that which would be put before them, or the American Public,” read one message.

Read the full messages below.

 (Donald Trump / Truth Social)
(Donald Trump / Truth Social)
 (Donald Trump / Truth Social)
(Donald Trump / Truth Social)

Trump wondered ‘What do I have to lose?’ as he pondered elevating conspiracy theorist at DOJ

22:04 , Josh Marcus

In the days just before January 6, Donald Trump met with top Justice Department officials in the Oval Office.

He told the assembled leaders he was considering clearing house among the top leadership, who didn’t go along with the former president’s election conspiracies, and elevating Jeffrey Clark, a mid-level DOJ official who did.

“What do I have to lose?” Mr Trump wondered aloud, according to testimony from Richard Donoghue, former acting deputy attorney general.

“I said, ‘Mr. President, you have a great deal to lose,’” Mr Donoghue testified.

The top DOJ official said the decision to elevate Mr Clark, an environmental attorney with no background in criminal investigations, would be a disaster.

“It’s impossible, it’s absurd. It’s not going to happen. And he is going to fail,” Mr Donoghue continued in the meeting, according to his testimony.

He also said he warned the president the decision would prompt mass resignations.

Former White House counsel Pat Cipollone compared elevating Mr Clark, who wanted states that went for Biden to submit illegitimiate pro-Trump electors instead, to a “murder-suicide pact.”

Sean Penn sits with Capitol Police officers who were injured in riot at latest public Jan 6 hearing

21:45 , Josh Marcus

Sean Penn sat with Capitol Police officers injured in the January 6 riots during Thursday’s hearing into the insurrection.

The Academy Award-winner and celebrity activist chatted and joked with Michael Fanone, now a CNN contributor, and shook hands with other officers.

“I’m just here to observe — just another citizen,” Penn told reporters.

“I think we all saw what happened on January 6 and now we’re looking to see if justice comes on the other side of it.”

Bevan Hurley has the story.

Sean Penn sits with Capitol Police officers at Jan 6 hearing

Donald Trump exploded in DOJ meeting and threatened leaders with firing

21:40 , Josh Marcus

During a late December meeting with Richard Donoghue, the former acting deputy attorney general, and other DOJ officials, Donald Trump threatened the government lawyers with firing because they wouldn’t seize voting machines and declare that they were suspicious of the 2020 election results.

“Towards the end of the meeting the president again was getting very agitated. He said, ‘People tell me I should just get rid of both of you,’” Mr Donoghue testified on Thursday.

The president then said he was thinking of elevating Jeffrey Clark, a DOJ official who was circulating plans to have the Justice Department declare state election results suspect and encourage legislatures to send pro-Trump electors.

“Maybe something will finally get done,” Mr Trump said, according to the testimony.

Is this Trump’s Nixon moment?

21:30 , Josh Marcus

Some are comparing Donald Trump and his allies’ efforts to get the Department of Justice to serve his political aims during a scandal to that of President Nixon’s infamous attempts to cover up the Watergate crisis.

As Maggie Haberman of The New York Times wrote on social media on Thursday, “Comparing Trump to Nixon has always been imperfect for a variety of reasons, but never have the parallels been as clear as during a hearing in which two top former DOJ officials testified about Trump wanting to use the department for strictly partisan political purposes.”

Trump told DOJ to say election was corrupt and ‘leave the rest to me’ and GOP, Jan 6 hearing told

21:23 , Josh Marcus

Top officials at the Justice Department testified on Thursday that then-President Donald Trump put enormous pressure on them in near-daily phone calls and statements demanding that they declare the results of the 2020 election fraudulent with zero evidence.

Former acting deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue told the committee that Mr Trump instructed him personally to say that the election was “corrupt”, and that he would use that as the impetus for Congress to act and refuse to certify the results.

“Just say it was corrupt and leave the rest to me and the Republican congressmen,” Donald Trump said, in words read aloud by Jan 6 committee member Adam Kinzinger, who then asked: “That’s a direct quote from President Trump, correct?”

“That’s an exact quote from the president, yes,” Mr Donoghue responded.

More details on this breaking news here.

Trump told DOJ to say election stolen, ‘leave the rest to me’, Jan 6 witness says

Committee details pressure campaign to elevate Trump ally in DOJ

21:15 , Josh Marcus

The committee is rolling out extensive evidence of how Trump allies pressured the Justice Department to elevate Jeffrey Clark, a mid-level official attempting to get the DOJ to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the election results.

They showed December text messages from US representative Scott Perry, who texted Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows that “we gotta get going” with plans about challenging the election and elevating Mr Clark to a high level position.

“I got it. I think I understand,” Mr Meadows replied.

 (House Select Committee on January 6th)
(House Select Committee on January 6th)

Later that month, Mr Clark urged Richard Donoghue, the former acting deputy attorney general, to sign a letter criticising Georgia’s election results and proposing sending a slate of pro-Trump electors.

Mr Donoghue said he thought the letter was “extreme” and highly innappropriate, given the lack of evidence about election irregularities in the state.

“This is a grave step for the Department to take and could have tremendous constitutional, political and social ramifications for the country,” Mr Donoghue’s response read.

 (Special Committee on January 6th)
(Special Committee on January 6th)

“This was not based on fact,” the former DOJ official added during his testimony on Thursday. “It was actually contrary to the facts.”

“It may very well have spiralled us into a constitutional crisis,” he added.

20:46 , Josh Marcus

Today’s hearings have focused on the role of the Justice Department as Donald Trump and his allies pressured officials to overturn the election.

A key figure in that effort was Jeffrey Clark, a DOJ environmental lawyer who hoped to use the department to legitimise Mr Trump’s false claims about the election and encourage states to send separate, illegitimate sets of electors for the former president.

Former acting deputy attorney general Richard Donoghue told the January 6 committee he thought Mr Clark was not qualified to weigh in on such matters.“I made the point that Jeff Clark is not even competent to serve as the Attorney General. He’s never been a criminal attorney. He’s never conducted a criminal investigation in his life,” Mr Donoghue told the committee, adding, “How about you go back to your office. and we’ll call you when there’s an oil spill.”

Pence seen reacting to bid to force Trump from office using 25th amendment in documentary clip

20:35 , Abe Asher

Documentary film footage from a British filmmaker caught Vice President Mike Pence’s reaction as the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi demanded from the chamber that he invoke the 25th amendment to remove Donald Trump as president during the final days of his term.

Mr Pence, who ultimately did not invoke the 25th amendment, appears nonplussed in the footage.

Read more:

Pence seen reacting to bid to force Trump from office using 25th amendment in clip

Committee to show footage from White House staff of members of Congress asking for pardons

20:23 , Gustaf Kilander

Hearing to focus on unsigned draft letter Trump wanted DOJ to send to Georgia officials to push special session approving fake electors

20:18 , Gustaf Kilander

Trump ‘wanted the Justice Department to help legitimize his lies’, panel chairman says

20:12 , Gustaf Kilander

“Donald Trump didn’t just want the Justice Department to investigate,” chairman Bennie Thompson said in his opening statement. “He wanted the Justice Department to help legitimize his lies.”

‘Unpredecented’ filmmaker who stirred up January 6 investigation had ‘thorough’ meeting with committee

20:10 , Josh Marcus

Alex Holder’s forthcoming documentary series Unprecedented, which features interviews with Donald Trump and other inner circle figures in the days around January 6, has shaken up the special committee’s investigation.

On Thursday, investigators met with the British filmmaker, who said he had a “thorough” convesation with committee members.

“I have provided the committee with all requested materials and am fully cooperating with the investigation,” he said in a statement. “I have no further comment at this time other than to say that our conversation today was thorough, and I appreciated the opportunity to share more context about my project.”

The series will air this summer on Discovery+.

Actor Sean Penn at the US Capitol to watch hearing

20:10 , Gustaf Kilander

Actor Sean Penn is at the US Capitol to watch the hearing.

“I’m just here to observe — just another citizen,” he said, according to CNN. “I think we all saw what happened on January 6 and now we’re looking to see if justice comes on the other side of it.”

Chairman says fifth hearing will focus on DOJ pressure campaign

20:08 , Gustaf Kilander

Committee chairman Bennie Thompson opened the fifth hearing by saying that it will focus on the pressure exerted by Donald Trump and his allies on the Department of Justice.

He said the panel will hear from DOJ officials and that the committee will show that the pressure campaign continued into January of last year, adding that Mr Trump wanted the department to call the election “corrupt”.

Mr Thompson added that Mr Trump attempted to replace the acting attorney general with a more loyal individual.

The chairman said Illinois Republican Adam Kinzinger will lead today’s hearing.

What to expect during today’s committee hearing

19:55 , Josh Marcus

Thursday’s January 6 hearings are expected to dive deep into the role of former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark, who proposed sending a letter to state officials urging them to help Donald Trump overturn the election result.

In the letter, which his superiors rejected, Mr Clark wanted to tell officials that the DOJ had “identified significant concerns” and could send “a separate slate of electors supporting Donald J. Trump” to Washington to certify the winner of the election.

Top Trump-era DOJ officials Jeffrey Rosen, Richard Donoghue, and Steven Engel, will all testify on the tension inside the Justice Department, which ultimately stymied this plan.

Adam Kinzinger, one of the two Republicans on the January 6 committee, is expected to take a prominent role in the questioning during the hearing, which begins at 3pm ET.

You can watch the proceedings live here, via the January 6 committee website.

Here a preview from Andrew Feinberg on what to expect.

Fifth January 6 hearing to show ‘greater detail’ on Trump plan for justice department

Trump calls Capitol rioters ‘smart’ in clip from documentary that shocked his aides

19:54 , Josh Marcus

Former President Donald Trump had little more than compliments for the rioters who stormed the US Capitol in new documentary footage from March 2021 that was obtained by the January 6 committee this week.

In the footage, published by CNN on Thursday, Mr Trump claims (falsely) that a “small” number of people stormed the Capitol and calls them “smart” for believing his claims about widespread election fraud, which his own attorney admitted in separate audio released this week that the Trump campaign had no evidence to prove.

“They were angry from the standpoint of what happened in the election. Because they’re smart, and they see and they saw what happened, and I believe that that was a big part of what happened on January 6,” says the former president in the clip.

John Bowden has the details on the former president’s shocking comments.

Trump calls Capitol rioters ‘smart’ in clip from documentary that shocked his aides

WATCH: Mike Pence’s reaction to calls to remove Trump from office after Jan. 6

19:40 , Josh Marcus

Mike Pence is the consumate straight man.

He didn’t react during the 2020 VP debates when a fly landed on his head.

Joe Biden trolls Mike Pence for fly landing on head during debate

He stood by Donald Trump for four years and would try to put a respectable face on whatever wild new direction the Trump administration was taking in a given week.

And despite extreme pressure from Donald Trump and his allies, the former vice-president refused to go outside the boundaries of his office’s power and overturn the 2020 election result.

What we know about how Mike Pence’s day unfolded on Jan 6

So perhaps it should come as no surprise that when Mr Pence was informed that Congress was calling on him to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove Donald Trump from office after the events from January 6, the vice-president’s reaction was ice cold.

In a new clip from the forthcoming documentary Unprecedented, Mr Pence is recorded receiving the news that Congress wanted him to axe Mr Trump.

Mr Pence declines to comment then tells filmmaker Alex Holder, “I’m always hopeful about America.”

DOJ probing whether Trump ally Sidney Powell is funding Oath Keepers’ legal defence

19:25 , Josh Marcus

The Department of Justice is looking into whether former Donald Trump lawyer Sidney Powell is funneling money into the legal defence of the Oath Keepers, a self-styled militia group that joined in the January 6 riots to prevent the certification of the 2020 election.“The government is ... protecting the record by involving the Court in the process of addressing a potential conflict before it undermines a proceeding and a defendant’s right to competent and conflict-free representation,” the DOJ said in a court filing on Wednesday.

Ms Powell’s nonprofit group, Defending the Republic, has raised millions making false claims about the 2020 presidential race.

Four Oath Keepers on trial have taken funds from the group, reports Buzzfeed and Mother Jones.

Trump calls January 6 rioters ‘smart’ in new clip from documentary

19:15 , Josh Marcus

Donald Trump praises those who stormed the Capitol on January 6 in new footage from the forthcoming documentary Unprecedented, which features interviews with top figures in the Trump inner circle.

In a clip from the series, directed by British filmmaker Alex Holder, Mr Trump calls January 6 a “sad day” for the country, then praises those who stormed the Capitol in the next breath.

“They were angry from the standpoint of what happened in the election,” he said. “Because they’re smart, and they see and they saw what happened, and I believe that that was a big part of what happened on January 6.”

Footage from the documentary has been working its away around Washington, and is expected to figure in Thursday’s January 6 hearings. Trump aides were reportedly stunned by some of the relevations in the series.

Trump aides shocked by revelation of unseen documentary subpoenaed by Jan 6 committee

Morning Joe dubs Trump ‘Fat Elvis’ as poll shows DeSantis creeping ahead

18:55 , Josh Marcus

MSNBC’sMorning Joe host Joe Scarborough blasted former President Donald Trump, comparing him to “fat Elvis” of 1977, struggling to get through his rallies as a new poll shows Florida Governor Ron DeSantis edging ahead of Mr Trump in a future 2024 Republican presidential primary in New Hampshire.

The panellists on Thursday’s edition of the programme discussed a poll from The University of New Hampshire Survey Center showing Mr DeSantis ahead of Mr Trump in the state.

“When provided with a list of Republicans who are thought by observers to be considering running for President in 2024, likely New Hampshire Republican primary voters are split between DeSantis and Trump, with 39 percent preferring the Florida governor and 37 percent supporting the former president,” according to the poll.

Michael Steele, a former chairman of the Republican National Convention who served as the Lieutenant Governor of Maryland between 2003 and 2007, said on MSNBC that “Governor DeSantis has very craftily and stealthily in some sense positioned himself as a better version of Donald Trump, people say without the baggage. I think he’s just as dangerous if not more so, just looking at what he’s doing in Florida”.

Gustaf Kilander has more.

Morning Joe dubs Trump ‘Fat Elvis’ as poll shows DeSantis creeping ahead

Federal authorities search home of Trump-era Department of Justice official ahead of January 6 testimony

18:40 , Josh Marcus

Federal authorities raided the home of former Department of Justice official Jefferey Clark in connection with his efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election, The New York Times reported.

Eric Garcia is following this breaking news story.

Federal authorities search home of Trump-era Department of Justice official

Nevada Republicans part of latest round of FBI searches in 2020 probe

18:35 , Josh Marcus

The FBI has reportedly served search warrants on two top Nevada Republicans, part of the latest round of investigations into the attempt to overturn the 2020 election result.

On Wednesday, agents seized the cell phone of state GOP chair Michael McDonald, and sought party secretary James DeGraffenreid for another search.

Both men were part of a December scheme from Nevada’s Republican party to send its own slate of Electoral College electors on behalf of Donald Trump, even though Joe Biden won the state.

The subpoenas, 8 News Now reports, were issued in January, and said, “We are seeking information about your role and participation in the purported slate of electors casting votes for Donald Trump and, to the extent relevant, your role in the events of January 6, 2021.”

Here’s our report on some of the other FBI searches underway.

FBI raids homes and new subpoenas issued as January 6 committee pushes back hearings

Why is Dr Phil at the Capitol?

18:20 , Josh Marcus

As if the January 6 hearings couldn’t get any stranger.

Talk show star Dr Phil was spotted on the US Capitol subway system on Thursday morning.

It’s unclear why the celebrity host is in Washington, but he was spotted walking with Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana.

Here’s a picture, courtesy of Punchbowl News’s Christian Hall.

Kevin McCarthy dodges question about 2020 election by talking about...sequoias?

18:06 , Josh Marcus

In recent days, we’ve seen Republicans using all manner of tactics to dodge reporters’ questions about the 2020 election, the January 6 riots, and the GOP’s support for Donald Trump’s election falsehoods.

There was Ron Johnson, who was busted pretending to be on a very important phone call.

Ron Johnson busted faking phone call to dodge reporters’ Jan 6 questions

There was Ted Cruz, who used his loquaciousness to avoid answering any real questions from our correspondent.

Ted Cruz played me for a fool. Here’s how he got away with it

And on Thursday, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy debuted perhaps the most innovative and brazen dodge yet: talking about trees instead.

When CNN reporter Manu Raju began asking the top Republican for his reaction to the numerous GOP officials who have testified in the January 6 hearings there was no election fraud, Mr McCarthy cut him off and began talking about giant redwoods.

“You ever visited a sequoia? … Let’s go up on a tour, you bring your cameras, you do a story on that, and then I’ll do a live interview with any politics,” he said.

Here’s a clip of the exchange.

Donald Trump rails against ‘abysmal’ hearings and ‘Shifty’ Adam Schiff in Truth Social tirade

17:46 , Josh Marcus

Donald Trump is clearly not a huge fan of the ongoing January 6 hearings, and his social network Truth Social has been a favourite place to vent.

The former president tore into “Shifty” Adam Schiff and what he called the committee’s “hoaxes” in a Thursday morning rant on the platform.

“Their lead investigator just quit, they canceled or postponed future hearings, the T.V. Ratings are absolutely abysmal, and Shifty Schiff continues his sanctimonious ‘interviews’ just as though he were talking about his first four failed hoaxes!”

Here’s what he’s on about.

FBI raids homes and new subpoenas issued as January 6 committee pushes back hearings

Watch: Morning Joe anchor drops an unflattering metaphor on Trump

17:30 , Andrew Naughtie

On today’s edition of Morning Joe, whose hosts were the subject of relentless attacks from Donald Trump – many of them focused on Mika Brzezinski’s body – Joe Scarborough offered up an unflattering comparison between the former president and a past-his-prime star of decades gone by...

Trailer released for Jan 6 Trump documentary “Unprecedented"

17:15 , Andrew Naughtie

CNN has screened a trailer for “Unprecedented”, the documentary filmed in late 2020 and early 2021 whose raw footage has been subpoenaed by the 6 January committee.

The clip features Mr Trump and his children Ivanka, Donald Jr and Eric all sitting for one-on-one interviews.

In a series of quick-cut clips, Ms Trump can be heard saying that her father is "honest" and "is who he is." Donald Trump Jr says his father thinks "everything he's doing is right" before Mr Trump's voice cuts into the trailer: “I think I treat people well unless they don’t treat me well, in which case you go to war.”

Near the end of the trailer, Mr Holder asks Mr Trump if they can talk about 6 January. Mr Trump replies “yep.”

Watch the trailer here.

Trump speaks about Jan 6 in secret documentary that blindsided aides

Peter Navarro’s trial scheduled

17:00 , Andrew Naughtie

Former Trump administration adviser Peter Navarro, who was recently arrested after refusing to comply with a subpoena from the 6 January committee, has had his trial date set for this November.

Mr Navarro served as a trade adviser, and played a key role in formulating the so-called “Green Bay Sweep” plan to have the certification of the 2020 election sent from Congress back to the states so that Donald Trump could retain the presidency,

The Trump-DeSantis cold war heats up

16:45 , Andrew Naughtie

Donald Trump this morning took to Truth Social to share a national poll of likely voters that showed him capturing more than 50 per cent of the vote in a hypothetical 2024 Republican primary – a full 42 points ahead of his nearest competitor, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

Why would the ex-president care about this? Because as Eric Garcia writes in today’s Inside Washington dispatch, the signs are that Mr DeSantis may in fact be starting to catch up to Mr Trump in Republican primary voters’ estimation:

A University of New Hampshire poll released Wednesday shows DeSantis at a statistical tie in the state that holds the first-in-the-nation primary, with DeSantis earning 39 per cent of the vote and Trump earning 37 per cent. Last year, Trump was at 43 per cent to DeSantis’s 18.

Of course, Trump likely won’t take too kindly to DeSantis’s rising popularity and his outreach to donors. Nor will he take kindly to the fact that DeSantis hasn’t asked for his endorsement — since for all that Trump might be wary of endorsing a potential challenger, he has also shown time and again how much he loves a groveler.

Read Eric’s full analysis below.

The cold war between DeSantis and Trump is heating up

What’s coming up at today’s hearing?

16:30 , Andrew Naughtie

Andrew Feinberg has this preview of today’s 6 January committee hearing, which will be the last for a few weeks as the panel recalibrates its schedule to accommodate a deluge of new evidence.

The panel’s Thursday session will feature a trio of top Trump-era Justice Department officials, including Jeffrey Rosen, who served as the acting attorney general after William Barr’s resignation, former acting deputy attorney general Richard Donoghue, and Steven Engel, the ex-assistant attorney general who headed the DOJ’s Office of Legal Counsel during the waning days of the Trump administration.

All three have already spoken extensively about Mr Trump’s actions in the days leading up to the worst attack on the Capitol since 1814, with each previously giving evidence in depositions taken as part of a Senate Judiciary Committee probe into Mr Trump’s attempts to hang on to the presidency against the wishes of American voters.

The Senate investigation found Mr Trump “repeatedly asked DOJ leadership to endorse his false claims that the election was stolen and to assist his efforts to overturn the election results” starting as soon as Mr Rosen assumed leadership of the department, including seven separate phone calls and meetings between the two men in December 2020.

Mr Trump also tried to induce Mr Rosen to resign during another Oval Office meeting on 3 January 2021 — just three days before the Capitol attack — in order to replace him with Jeffrey Clark, then the acting head of the DOJ’s civil division.

Read the full piece below.

Fifth January 6 hearing to show ‘greater detail’ on Trump plan for justice department

DoJ asks whether Sidney Powell’s nonprofit is funding Oath Keepers’ defence

16:15 , Andrew Naughtie

As members of the self-styled Oath Keepers militia face sedition charges over their alleged activities on the day of the Capitol riot, Department of Justice prosecutors have asked a federal judge to investigate reports that Sidney Powell’s fundraising nonprofit Defending the Republic is paying some of the defendants’ legal fees.

Read more about the Oath Keepers and the charges against them below.

Oath Keepers leader tried to ask Trump to forcibly stop January 6 transfer of power

Mark Meadows’s Trump tell-all falls flat

15:45 , Andrew Naughtie

The library of Trump administration alumni memoirs is still growing, but its various authors have met with mixed success.

Politico reports that among the most disappointing performers is The Chief’s Chief, written by ex-chief of staff and key coup attempt figure Mark Meadows; so far, it has sold less than 22,000 copies. And others besides are doing badly:

The memoir of Deborah Birx, the Covid response coordinator under Trump, has sold fewer than 6,000 copies; Dr. Scott Atlas’ book sold 27,013 copies; Dr. Ben Carson’s book sold 21,786 copies; former White House press secretary turned Trump critic Stephanie Grisham sold 38,249 books; counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway has sold 42,273 books since it was published in late May; and former defense secretary Mark Esper sold 20,900 books.

Read the full story here.

Trump screaming at TV while he watches Jan 6 hearings – report

15:15 , Andrew Naughtie

Donald Trump is reportedly watching every January 6 Committee hearing in a rage, furious that no one is there to defend him, according to a report.

A close advisor told The Washington Post that Mr Trump is at “the point of about to scream at the TV” as he watches the hearings.

Read Gustaf Kilander below.

Trump angrily watches every Jan 6 hearing, almost screaming at TV, report says

FBI raids homes and new subpeonas issued as Jan 6 committee expands hearings over fresh evidence

14:45 , Andrew Naughtie

Federal agents issued new subpoenas regarding the January 6 riot at the US Capitol and raided the homes of two people involved in the plot to overturn the 2020 presidential election, The Washington Post reported.

The FBI confirmed to The Post that it conducted authorised law enforcement activity at the home of Brad Carver, who allegedly signed a document to be a Trump elector, as well as Thomas Lane, who worked on Trump’s effort to overturn the election in Arizona and New Mexico. Other would-be participants in former president Donald Trump’s scheme to send an alternate slate of electors to overturn the 2020 presidential election received subpoenas.

Eric Garcia and Andrew Feinberg report from Capitol Hill.

FBI raids homes and new subpeonas issued as January 6 committee pushes back hearings

Right wing news channels face reckoning of their own over false election claims

14:15 , Andrew Naughtie

Proponents of the lie that the 2020 election was stolen are currently facing a very public reckoning. Millions of Americans are tuning in to watch the January 6 House committee outline evidence of a concerted effort by Donald Trump and his allies to overturn the election.

But another reckoning, largely out of view until now, may yet take place for the people and institutions that promoted those lies. In the courts, right wing media companies that broadcast false claims about voting machines being rigged are being hit with billion-dollar lawsuits — and they are not going away.

Richard Hall reports for The Independent.

Right wing news channels face a reckoning of their own over false election claims

Images from Trump documentary subpoenaed by Jan 6 panel

13:47 , Andrew Naughtie

CBS News has obtained two images from the hours of documentary footage subpoenaed by the 6 January committee.

Alex Holder’s thus-far-unseen three-part documentary has been bought by Discovery+. Its existence was reportedly a surprise to many core Trump aides, who only heard about it when the committee’s subpoena was revealed this week.

Graig Graziosi has more.

Trump aides shocked by revelation of unseen documentary subpoenaed by Jan 6 committee

Mo Brooks says he’ll talk to panel – but only in public

13:14 , Andrew Naughtie

Alabama Congressman Mo Brooks, who spoke at the “Stop the Steal” rally outside the White House on 6 January before the Capitol riot, is clearly furious after losing his state’s Senate primary to a Trump-backed challenger on Tuesday night – and he appears to be preparing to have his revenge on the former president in the form of testimony to the committee, which he is insisting he will only give in public.

Mr Brooks was originally endorsed by Mr Trump in his run for the open seat, but the ex-president withdrew his backing after the congressman began to slide in the polls and told an audience of supporters they should stop fixating on the supposed “theft” of the 2020 election.

After the endorsement was pulled, Mr Brooks shared an unflattering story that Mr Trump was still asking people whether he could somehow be reinstalled as president before the next election.

Report: New video contains 11 hours of interviews with Trumps around time of Capitol riot

12:45 , Oliver O'Connell

The House Select Committee investigating the Capitol riot has received 11 hours of previously unseen interviews and footage featuring former President Donald Trump and his family in the months leading up to and the immediate aftermath of the 6 January insurrection, reports indicate.

According to CBS’s Bob Costas, the documentary footage the panel subpoenaed from British filmmaker Alex Holder includes more than 10 hours of interviews, including statements from Mr Trump.

That footage is in addition to many hours of footage Mr Holder shot that are not direct interviews with Mr Trump and his family.

Graig Graziosi reports.

Video containing 11 hours of interviews with Trump and family given to Jan 6 panel

With primary behind him, Dr Oz back away from Trump

12:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Pennsylvania Senate candiate Mehmet Oz is making a strong pivot towards a centrist electorate as he hurtles towards a general election showdown with the state’s lieutenant governor in November.

The celebrity TV doc better known as “Dr Oz” has removed any mention of former president Donald Trump from his Twitter bio, background image, campaign website splash page, and even recent advertisements, following a primary campaign that relied heavily on his endorsement from the 45th president. The changes were first reported on Wednesday by Axios.

John Bowden reports.

Dr Oz backs away from Trump support after GOP primary win

Ron Johnson calls fake electors ‘non-story’ says he didn’t look in envelope

11:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Senator Ron Johnson said today that he has not looked into the alternate electors’ controversy that involved his office any further.

He told CNN’s Ted Barrett: “No, I haven’t. Haven’t looked in any further because it’s a non-story.”

Asked if he had looked inside the envelope that supposedly contained the fake electors, he said: “I don’t believe I ever did, no.”

Here’s our earlier coverage of the senator’s initial reaction to being asked about the revelations from the January 6 hearing.

Watch: Minority Leader McCarthy says ‘President always has a right to question an election’

10:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Poll shows more heard Elon Musk voted Republican than judge’s Trump takedown at Jan 6 hearings

09:15 , Oliver O'Connell

More Americans have heard about Elon Musk’s pledge to vote Republican than have heard about retired federal judge Michael Luttig’s takedown of Donald Trump during the January 6 hearings, a poll has found.

The poll, which was carried out following last week’s initial televised January 6 hearings, suggests some of the damning revelations aired by witnesses have not been noticed by the American public.

Gino Spocchia reports:

Voters more aware of Elon Musk than judge’s warning to Jan 6 hearing

Watch: Senator caught by reporters avoiding questions by pretending to be on phone

08:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Senators Booker and Tester tackle each other in slapstick video about reforming agriculture

07:15 , Oliver O'Connell

A slapstick political ad from senators Cory Booker and Jon Tester is hoping to draw focus to a topic not often discussed at the water cooler: agriculture reform.

“Consolidation in the agriculture industry is costing consumers and producers, so @SenBooker and I are teaming up to *tackle* it,” Sen Tester tweeted on Wednesday, teasing the video where he and his Democratic colleague ham it up on camera to jokingly showcase all the lengths – and friendly charges – they’re willing to take to get a bill that would place an immediate moratorium on acquisitions and mergers within the food and agriculture sector across the president’s desk.

Johanna Chisholm reports.

Senators Booker and Tester jokingly tackle each other in recent political ad

Watch: Biden outlines plan for federal gas tax holiday

06:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Monica Lewinsky expertly mocks Ron Johnson over his reaction to Jan 6 revelations

05:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Monica Lewinsky’s Twitter account is a treasure trove of hits and her latest remark to Sen Ron Johnson is no exception.

On Wednesday, the Vanity Fair contributor offered her two cents in response to a video of Mr Johnson that went viral on Tuesday.

Jenna Amatulli reports.

Monica Lewinsky mocks Ron Johnson over his reaction to Jan 6 revelations

DeSantis beating Trump in New Hampshire GOP primary polling

04:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Florida’s Ron DeSantis would win the New Hampshire Republican primary were it held today, even if he faced Donald Trump, according to a poll released on Wednesday.

The survey from the University of New Hampshire indicated that Mr DeSantis would win the support of 39 per cent of GOP primary voters, compared to just 37 per cent who said they would support Mr Trump. Those were the only two names to even breach double digits in the poll.

Those results represent a surge in support for Mr DeSantis, who trailed the ex-president in a previous survey published by the university in October.

DeSantis pulls past Trump in New Hampshire GOP primary polling

Even Fox News analysts say Trump should face criminal charges

03:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Fox News analysts have said evidence from the January 6 House select committee showed Donald Trump’s “unfitness” to lead the country and that he may be guilty of a crime.

Analysing the fourth hearing by the panel investigating the Capitol insurrection, former assistant US attorney Andy McCarthy was asked by Fox News host Anita Vogel if the panel was trying to charge the former president with “conspiracy to defraud the United States”.

“No, I don’t think so, I think the most plausible crime is obstruction of Congress,” Mr McCarthy replied.

Read more:

Fox News analysts say Trump should face criminal charges as channel airs hearings

What we’ve learned, and what’s next in the Jan 6 hearings

03:00 , Oliver O'Connell

The House committee investigating the Capitol insurrection heard from election workers and state officials on Tuesday as they described President Donald Trump’s pressure to overturn his 2020 election defeat. On Thursday, the nine-member panel will hear from former Justice Department officials who refused Trump’s entreaties to declare the election “corrupt.”

The committee’s fourth and fifth hearings, held this week, are part of an effort to show how Trump’s pressure eventually shifted to Congress, where his false declarations of widespread election fraud led directly to the riot on Jan. 6, 2021, when hundreds of his supporters violently breached the Capitol and interrupted the certification of President Joe Biden’s election victory.

In July, the panel will hold at least two more hearings that are expected to focus on the far-right domestic extremists who attacked the Capitol and what Trump was doing inside the White House as the violence unfolded.

Jan. 6 hearings: What we’ve learned, and what’s next

Three months in jail for former West Virginia lawmaker at Capitol riot

02:15 , Oliver O'Connell

A former West Virginia lawmaker who livestreamed himself on Facebook storming the U.S. Capitol and cheering on what he described as a “revolution” was sentenced Wednesday to three months in prison.

Derrick Evans, 37, who pleaded guilty to a felony civil disorder charge, told the judge that he regrets his actions every day and is a “good person who unfortunately was caught up in a moment.”

Former West Virginia lawmaker gets 3 months in Jan. 6 riot

Senator busted faking phone call to dodge reporters’ questions over Jan 6 texts

01:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson attempted to avoid answering reporters’ questions as he left the Capitol by pretending to be on his phone, but he was called out by one of the journalists who spotted his screen.

Mr Johnson was walking out of the congressional building on Tuesday after the hearing of the January 6 House Select Committee. The hearing presented texts between one of the senator’s staffers and an aide to then-Vice President Mike Pence.

The conversation took place not long after the congressional certification of President Joe Biden’s victory was halted by the violent mob of Trump supporters laying siege to the Capitol.

Gustaf Kilander reports:

Ron Johnson busted faking phone call to dodge reporters’ Jan 6 questions

Jan 6: Even Fox News analysts say Trump should face criminal charges

01:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Fox News analysts have said evidence from the January 6 House select committee showed Donald Trump’s “unfitness” to lead the country and that he may be guilty of a crime.

Analysing the fourth hearing by the panel investigating the Capitol insurrection, former assistant US attorney Andy McCarthy was asked by Fox News host Anita Vogel if the panel was trying to charge the former president with “conspiracy to defraud the United States”.

“No, I don’t think so, I think the most plausible crime is obstruction of Congress,” Mr McCarthy replied.

Sweta Sharma reports:

Fox News analysts say Trump should face criminal charges as channel airs hearings

Jan 6: Previously unknown film of Trump and family at time of riot obtained by probe

Thursday 23 June 2022 00:45 , Oliver O'Connell

The House January 6 select committee has taken possession of recently discovered video footage shot by Alex Holder, a documentary filmmaker who had access to former president Donald Trump, former vice president Mike Pence, Mr Trump’s children and other confidantes in the months leading to the Capitol riot.

A spokesperson for Mr Holder, Liz Trotter, told The Independent Mr Holder has provided the select committee with “all the footage” it requested in a 15 June subpoena, and said the documentarian will appear before the panel for a deposition on Thursday.

Andrew Feinberg reports:

Jan 6 committee obtains previously unknown film of Trump and family at time of riot

Alabama primary: Katie Britt beats Mo Brooks after Trump switches his endorsement

Thursday 23 June 2022 00:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Katie Boyd Britt beat Representative Mo Brooks in the runoff race to win the Republican nomination for Senate in Alabama after former president Donald Trump endorsed her.

Mr Trump took credit for Ms Britt’s victory on his Truth Social networking platform.

“With the great ALABAMA win by Katie Britt tonight, I am please to announce that WE (MAGA!) are 12 WINS & ZERO LOSSES in US Senate Primary races this cycle”, he said.

Eric Garcia reports on the Alabama results:

Katie Britt beats Mo Brooks after Trump switches endorsement in Alabama Senate runoff

With primary behind him, Dr Oz backs away from Trump support

Thursday 23 June 2022 00:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Pennsylvania Senate candiate Mehmet Oz is making a strong pivot towards a centrist electorate as he hurtles towards a general election showdown with the state’s lieutenant governor in November.

The celebrity TV doc better known as “Dr Oz” has removed any mention of former president Donald Trump from his Twitter bio, background image, campaign website splash page, and even recent advertisements, following a primary campaign that relied heavily on his endorsement from the 45th president. The changes were first reported on Wednesday by Axios.

John Bowden has the story.

Dr Oz backs away from Trump support after GOP primary win

Former congressman sparks outrage with slavery tweet

Wednesday 22 June 2022 23:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Former Iowa congressman Steve King has sparked widespread outrage with a tweet comparing enslavement to abortion on Tuesday morning.

The condemnation Mr King faced was a throwback to his final years in the House, when his far-right politics frequently drew criticism from Republicans as well as Democrats.

Mr King’s ties to and defense of white nationalism saw him stripped of his committee assignments during his final term in the House of Representatives.

Josh Marcus reports:

Former congressman Steve King sparks outrage with slavery tweet

ICYMI: Takeaways from Tuesday’s primaries

Wednesday 22 June 2022 23:15 , Oliver O'Connell

A Republican who was backed by Donald Trump at the last minute prevailed on Tuesday in an Alabama Senate runoff. But in neighboring Georgia, the former president’s losing streak deepened.

Meanwhile, moderate Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser won her Democratic primary, offering a fresh warning to progressives.

Takeaways from the latest round of midterm primary elections:

Takeaways: Trump's conditional loyalty, new warning for left

Poll shows more heard Elon Musk voted Republican than judge’s Trump takedown at Jan 6 hearings

Wednesday 22 June 2022 23:00 , Oliver O'Connell

More Americans have heard about Elon Musk’s pledge to vote Republican than have heard about retired federal judge Michael Luttig’s takedown of Donald Trump during the January 6 hearings, a poll has found.

The poll, which was carried out following last week’s initial televised January 6 hearings, suggests some of the damning revelations aired by witnesses have not been noticed by the American public.

Gino Spocchia reports:

Voters more aware of Elon Musk than judge’s warning to Jan 6 hearing

New video shows Ivanka Trump wanted father to ‘fight’ election

Wednesday 22 June 2022 22:52 , Oliver O'Connell

Ivanka Trump wanted her father to continue fighting the 2020 election result well into December, new documentary footage shows, contradicting her testimony in the recent 6 January hearings that she quickly accepted Donald Trump’s election loss.

The former president’s daughter wanted Mr Trump to “continue to fight until every legal remedy is exhausted,” she told a film crew in mid-December, as part of a yet-to-be-released documentary, The New York Times reported.

Josh Marcus reports:

Ivanka Trump wanted father to ‘fight’ election, despite claims she accepted 2020 loss

Right wing news channels face reckoning of their own over false election claims

Wednesday 22 June 2022 22:33 , Oliver O'Connell

Proponents of the lie that the 2020 election was stolen are currently facing a very public reckoning. Millions of Americans are tuning in to watch the January 6 House committee outline evidence of a concerted effort by Donald Trump and his allies to overturn the election.

But another reckoning, largely out of view until now, may yet take place for the people and institutions that promoted those lies. In the courts, right wing media companies that broadcast false claims about voting machines being rigged are being hit with billion-dollar lawsuits — and they are not going away.

Richard Hall reports for The Independent.

Right wing news channels face a reckoning of their own over false election claims

Recap: Jan 6 committee hearing - Day 4

Wednesday 22 June 2022 22:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Newly revealed video contains 11 hours of interviews with Trump and family, report says

Wednesday 22 June 2022 22:15 , Oliver O'Connell

The House Select Committee investigating the Capitol riot has received 11 hours of previously unseen interviews and footage featuring former President Donald Trump and his family in the months leading up to and the immediate aftermath of the 6 January insurrection, reports indicate.

According to CBS’s Bob Costas, the documentary footage the panel subpoenaed from British filmmaker Alex Holder includes more than 10 hours of interviews, including statements from Mr Trump.

That footage is in addition to many hours of footage Mr Holder shot that are not direct interviews with Mr Trump and his family.

Jan. 6 panel in possession of new Trump documentary footage

Senators Booker and Tester tackle each other in slapstick video about reforming agriculture

Wednesday 22 June 2022 22:00 , Oliver O'Connell

A slapstick political ad from senators Cory Booker and Jon Tester is hoping to draw focus to a topic not often discussed at the water cooler: agriculture reform.

“Consolidation in the agriculture industry is costing consumers and producers, so @SenBooker and I are teaming up to *tackle* it,” Sen Tester tweeted on Wednesday, teasing the video where he and his Democratic colleague ham it up on camera to jokingly showcase all the lengths – and friendly charges – they’re willing to take to get a bill that would place an immediate moratorium on acquisitions and mergers within the food and agriculture sector across the president’s desk.

Johanna Chisholm reports.

Senators Booker and Tester jokingly tackle each other in recent political ad

Opinion: I was so wrong about Eric Greitens

Wednesday 22 June 2022 21:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Stephen Lyons writes:

In all my years of interviewing people for articles, there have only been two people whose charisma made an immediate impact. When I say “impact”, I mean that upon meeting them I wanted to run through a wall for them and be part of whatever they were doing.

The first encounter was with Chad Pregracke, the founder of Living Lands and Waters, an organization that plies the inland rivers of America cleaning up decades of refuse. I spent a day with Pregracke on the Mississippi hauling out refrigerators, Styrofoam coolers and other garbage. Despite my fear of snakes, it was one of the best twelve hours of my life.

The second person that I would have followed into battle was Eric Greitens. Yes, that Eric Greitens, the disgraced former governor of Missouri, and the star of the recent “hunting RINOs” (Republicans In Name Only) campaign ad in his doomed quest to resurrect his dismal reputation and become the Republican candidate for Senator from the Show Me state.

Read more:

I was so wrong about Eric Greitens

Ron Johnson calls fake electors ‘non-story' says he didn’t look in envelope

Wednesday 22 June 2022 21:39 , Oliver O'Connell

Senator Ron Johnson said today that he has not looked into the alternate electors’ controversy that involved his office any further.

He told CNN’s Ted Barrett: “No, I haven’t. Haven’t looked in any further because it’s a non-story.”

Asked if he had looked inside the envelope that supposedly contained the fake electors, he said: “I don’t believe I ever did, no.”

Here’s our earlier coverage of the senator’s initial reaction.

Ron Johnson busted faking phone call to dodge reporters’ Jan 6 questions

Monica Lewinsky expertly mocks Ron Johnson over his reaction to Jan 6 revelations

Wednesday 22 June 2022 21:26 , Oliver O'Connell

Monica Lewinsky’s Twitter account is a treasure trove of hits and her latest remark to Sen Ron Johnson is no exception.

On Wednesday, the Vanity Fair contributor offered her two cents in response to a video of Mr Johnson that went viral on Tuesday.

Jenna Amatulli reports.

Monica Lewinsky mocks Ron Johnson over his reaction to Jan 6 revelations

Bannon to address GOP lawmaker spouses... day after his contempt of Congress trial begins

Wednesday 22 June 2022 21:14 , Oliver O'Connell

Politico reports that former Donald Trump adviser Steve Bannon is set to headline a seminar in July for the spouses of GOP lawmakers.

The event is set to take place on 19 July, the day after his trial for contempt of Congress is set to begin for charges following his defiance of a subpoena from the January 6 committee.

Other scheduled speakers include Kellyanne Conway and Dr Robert Malone, a Covid vaccine conspiracist, and Frank Gaffney, who has faced charges of trafficking in Islamophobia.

Steve Bannon faces trial for contempt of Congress (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
Steve Bannon faces trial for contempt of Congress (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

ICYMI: Lots of theories, no evidence

Wednesday 22 June 2022 20:55 , Oliver O'Connell

FBI raids, subpoenas and new evidence leads Jan 6 committee to expand hearings

Wednesday 22 June 2022 20:50 , Oliver O'Connell

The Justice Department’s investigation into the January 6 Capitol riot moved up a gear on Wednesday when federal agents dropped subpoenas on people in at least two states, as part of a widening probe into the use of fake electors to overturn the 2020 election.

The Washington Post reports that agents conducted court-authorised actions at the home of Brad Carver, a Georgia lawyer who allegedly signed a document claiming to be a Trump elector, and at the Virginia home of Thomas Lane, who worked on the Trump campaign’s efforts in Arizona and New Mexico.

Further subpoenas were issued in Michigan according to a person who spoke to the Post on condition of anonymity.

In light of this steady stream of new evidence, a person close to the House Jan 6 committee investigation confirmed to The Independent the panel was holding off on scheduling any further hearings until after the Independence Day recess.

January 6 committee pushes back hearings ‘several weeks’ to examine new evidence

Senator may need amputation after suffering ‘serious’ hand injury

Wednesday 22 June 2022 20:36 , Oliver O'Connell

Senator Kevin Cramer says that he has suffered a serious injury to his right hand doing yard work in North Dakota and that it may require an amputation.

“While working in the yard over the weekend, I sustained a serious injury to my right hand, which required immediate surgery,” Mr Cramer said on Wednesday, without being specific on the injury.

“I continue to remain in North Dakota close to medical care as there is a high risk of infection and the possible need for amputation.”

Graeme Massie reports:

US Senator may need amputation after suffering ‘serious’ hand injury

Greitens says violent video about hunting RINOs was meant to be humorous

Wednesday 22 June 2022 20:17 , Oliver O'Connell

Former Missouri Governor Eric Greitens has claimed that an advert for his senate campaign in which he hunts RINOs (Republican In Name Only) was meant to be humorous and that no one in the state took it seriously.

Mr Greitens, 48, served as the governor of Missouri between 2017 and 2018 before resigning amid allegations of sexual assault and campaign finance violations.

Gustaf Kilander has the story :

Greitens says violent video about hunting people was meant to be humorous

Trump-supporting Arizona GOP candidate calls official who testified at Jan 6 hearings a ‘traitor’

Wednesday 22 June 2022 20:08 , Oliver O'Connell

A Republican Arizona Congressional candidate called the state’s House speaker a “traitor” for testifying during the House Select Committee investigating the Capitol riot.

Josh Barnett, a Republican running for the state’s 1st district, tweeted a screenshot of Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers — a Republican — alongside a message calling him a traitor.

Graig Graziosi reports:

Trump-supporting candidate calls official who testified at Jan 6 hearings a ‘traitor’

DeSantis pulls past Trump in New Hampshire GOP primary polling

Wednesday 22 June 2022 19:49 , Oliver O'Connell

Florida’s Ron DeSantis would win the New Hampshire Republican primary were it held today, even if he faced Donald Trump, according to a poll released on Wednesday.

John Bowden reports:

DeSantis pulls past Trump in New Hampshire GOP primary polling

Is enthusiasm for Trump finally waning?

Wednesday 22 June 2022 19:30 , Oliver O'Connell

The results of the University of New Hampshire poll showing Ron DeSantis beating Donald Trump by two percentage points among likely Republican primary voters has caused a stir among political observers.

Sarah Longwell, CEO of Longwell Partners, publisher of The Bulwark, and founder of The Republican Accountability Project — a Trump adversary — says she has noted a shift among Trump voters.

“I’ve done two 2020 Trump-voter focus groups since the Jan 6 hearings began. And something happened that’s never happened before: ZERO of the participants in either group wanted Trump to run again in 2024,” she tweeted.

“To be clear, they still like Trump fine. And I’m not suggesting they’re being persuaded by the hearings. (They’re mostly not watching/hate the hearings). But it’s possible the hearings are making voters who want to move on from Jan 6 more open to also moving on from Trump,” Ms Longwell clarified.

She further notes: “That plus having an alternative in DeSantis they’re genuinely excited about — who they view as ‘Trump without the baggage’ — could be diminishing enthusiasm for another Trump run.”

“I’ve been very skeptical of the ‘Trump’s grip on the GOP is slipping’ narrative, in large part because in dozens and dozens of focus groups roughly half of Trump voters want to see Trump run again. It’s too soon to say for sure, but *possible* that’s changing,” Ms Longwell concludes.

Jennifer Rubin, a self-described “Never-Trump” and opinion writer at The Washington Post, replied to Ms Longwell’s thread: “Theory: When not forced to say ‘I don’t like Trump’ or ‘I was wrong to vote for Trump’ they’ll gladly jump ship to say ‘I found an even better Trump!’ The duped rarely admit they were duped. But they remain easy marks.”

Jan 6 committtee publishes Bowers’ journal excerpt

Wednesday 22 June 2022 19:04 , Oliver O'Connell

The January 6 select committee has published an excerpt from Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers’ journal from 4 December 2020.

I do not want to be a winner by cheating. I will not play with laws I swore allegiance to with any contrived desire toward deflection of my deep, foundational desire to follow God’s will...

Rusty Bowers

‘Some anxiety’ in Trump family about new documentary footage

Wednesday 22 June 2022 18:51 , Oliver O'Connell

The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman, somewhat of an expert on Trumpworld through her years of reporting on the former president, appeared on CNN’s New Day this morning to talk about the family’s reaction to the news that the January 6 committee is talking with the British filmmaker who spent weeks documenting them in late 2020 and early 2021.

“My understanding is that there is some anxiety among some family members about what might have been said,” she told CNN’s John Berman, later adding that it may be at odds with other statements that have been made.

For example, Ms Haberman says that she suspects what Ivanka Trump said under oath about the election not being rigged was what she truly believed, but what she said in the documentary video was what she was saying to her father.

“It is a real reminder about how little people were saying to Donald Trump’s face about what they though about what he was doing,” says Ms Haberman.

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