Trump news – live: Trump Organization found guilty of tax fraud as Jan 6 panel to make DoJ criminal referrals

Two subsidiaries of former president Donald Trump’s eponymous real estate and licensing company, the Trump Organization, have been found guilty of all charges stemming from what prosecutors described as a sweeping, multi-decade tax fraud scheme.

Jurors rendered a guilty verdict on all of the 15 charges included in an indictment filed last year against the Trump Corporation and the Trump Payroll Corporation, as well as its long-time chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg.

Meanwhile, January 6 committee chairman Rep Bennie Thompson has told reporters that they will be making criminal referrals to the Department of Justice.

He did not go into further detail adding that the committee investigating the 2021 Capitol riot still had to discuss the matter further.

Elsewhere, Republican senators continue to distance themselves from the former president’s remarks where he called for parts of the Constitution to be terminated but stopped short of saying whether the unprecedented proposals should disqualify him from running in 2024.

However, Senate Minority Whip John Thune admitted that for other potential candidates this was “a golden opportunity”.

Key points

  • January 6 Committee to make criminal referrals

  • Republicans rebuke Trump’s Constitution remarks, but stop short of disqualifying him from 2024

  • Trump denies calling for the ‘termination’ of the Constitution despite statement

  • Elon Musk dismisses Trump’s proposal to terminate parts of Constitution

  • January 6 special counsel issues first subpoenas

Voices: Trump Organization has been found guilty and the January 6 committee believes it has evidence of criminality. What now for Donald?

06:00 , Maroosha Muzaffar

This could be the beginning of a bigger nightmare for the former president — yet he remains the most likely Republican nominee for 2024, writes Andrew Buncombe

The Trump Organization has been found guilty — this is just the beginning

Trump slammed over comments on Constitution

05:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Former President Donald Trump faced rebuke Sunday from officials in both parties after calling for the “termination” of parts of the Constitution over his lie that the 2020 election was stolen.

Trump rebuked for call to suspend Constitution over election

And here’s what the Biden administration had to say: “You cannot only love America when you win.”

Biden administration attacks Trump for calling to terminate Constitution

A devastating day for Donald Trump: ‘Greed and cheating’ and expanding criminal probes target former president

05:29 , Maroosha Muzaffar

Donald Trump has spent decades trying to avoid criminal attachments, accusing his political enemies of launching spurious investigations despite a growing list of credible accusations of wrongdoing.

Less than three weeks after he formally declared his campaign for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, a launch fuelled by grievances and his failure to overturn the election he lost just two years ago, and largely seen as an attempt to shield himself from looming criminal investigations, his eponymous family business was branded as a felon.

Read the full story by Alex Woodward here:

Trump faces ‘greed and cheating’ convictions and expanding criminal probes

Musk dismisses Donald Trump’s call to ‘terminate’ parts of the US Constitution

04:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Tech titan-turned-online provocateur Elon Musk has weighed in on Donald Trump’s proposal to “terminate” parts of the US Constitution to overturn the 2020 election.

The Tesla chief executive wrote on Twitter, a social media platform he recently acquired for $44bn, that he agreed with the Democrats and the select number of Republicans who had come out swinging against the one-term president for suggesting that the landmark legal document be amended to suit him.

Johanna Chisholm reports.

Elon Musk dismisses Donald Trump’s call to ‘terminate’ parts of the US Constitution

ICYMI: Trump calls for himself to be reinstated as president by falsely claiming fraud overrides Constitution

03:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump called for himself to be reinstated as president or for the 2020 election to be run again during a Saturday morning social media posting storm on Truth Social.

Trump again calls to be reinstated as president claiming FBI and social media fraud

Growing number of Republicans want new leadership

02:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Republican voters appear to be shifting their gaze from Donald Trump as new polling shows the twice-impeached ex-president remaining at the centre of GOP politics was a significant motivating factor for voters who turned out for Democrats in last month’s midterm elections.

A survey of 1,160 registered voters obtained by The Independent reveals that the attention still given to Mr Trump and his self-styled “Make America Great Again” movement a full two years after he lost the 2020 election to Joe Biden helped drive voters to the polls with the intent of stopping his allies from winning offices at the state and federal level.

Andrew Feinberg reports.

Growing number of Republicans want new leadership for GOP, poll finds

After Trump Organization guilty verdict, what now for Donald?

01:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Today’s verdict in a Manhattan court might just be the beginning of a much bigger nightmare for Trump, Andrew Buncombe writes. After an investigation into the events of January 6 2021 that has spread over two years and revealed many jolting details about that day of chaos and violence, the investigating committee’s members believe it has evidence of criminality.

The Trump Organization has been found guilty — this is just the beginning

The terrible, not-very-good start to the Trump 2024 campaign

00:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Kyle Cheney, senior legal affair reporter at Politico, notes that it’s hard to imagine a worse first month of a presidential campaign than that of Trump 2024.

To view this content, you'll need to update your privacy settings.
Please click here to do so.

It was a sentiment shared across social media.

To view this content, you'll need to update your privacy settings.
Please click here to do so.

The myriad of investigations Donald Trump still faces

23:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump is under several congressional, civil and criminal investigations, which range from his business interests and allegations of tax fraud to his efforts to undermine the 2020 presidential election and fuel violence at the US Capitol.

The former president, his family business, real estate interests and political allies are under scrutiny from federal investigators, state attorneys and members of Congress.

On 6 December, a jury in New York City found Mr Trump’s eponymous real estate and licensing company guilty on all 15 charges against it, what prosecutors have argued stemmed from a decades-long scheme to avoid paying payroll taxes by compensating top executives with untaxed benefits.

Alex Woodward has prepared this partial list of the key probes involving Mr Trump and where they currently stand, now that the former president has formally announced his 2024 White House bid.

Jan 6, Mar-a-Lago and a golf course: The investigations Donald Trump is facing

Madison Cawthorn: Outgoing lawmaker cleared of inappropriate relationship with congressional staffer

22:05 , Oliver O'Connell

Madison Cawthorn has been cleared of having an improper relationship with a member of his congressional staff after he became embroiled in a string of scandals in the run-up to his primary election earlier this year.

However, the House Ethics Committee did order Mr Cawthorn to pay more than $15,000 for improperly promoting a cryptocurrency.

Graeme Massie has the details.

Madison Cawthorn cleared of inappropriate relationship with congressional staffer

Fox Business host shreds Trump’s electoral record

21:35 , Oliver O'Connell

Once a vocal supporter of Donald Trump, Fox Business host Stuart Varney gave a blistering takedown of the former president and his standing in the Republican Party.

Discussing today’s Georgia Senate runoff election, Varney showed how Trump-back candidates had lost in vital races for the party and added that the latest suggestion from the twice-impeached president that the Constitution should be terminated in order for Mr Trump to take power again “plays right into Democrats’ hands”.

Referring to the GOP’s Georgia Senate candidate Herschel Walker, whom Trump encourage to run, Varney said: “If Walker wins, Trump will take all of the credit, guaranteed. If Walker loses, Trump will blame Walker for not inviting Trump into the state.”

Watch the segment below via Mediaite.

To view this content, you'll need to update your privacy settings.
Please click here to do so.

New York AG statement on Trump Organization verdict

21:30 , Oliver O'Connell

New York Attorney General Letitia James:

“We can have no tolerance for individuals or organizations that violate our laws to line their pockets. I commend Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg and his team for their successful prosecution of the Trump Organization, and I was proud to assist in this important case. This verdict sends a clear message that no one, and no organization, is above our laws.”

Trump Organization found guilty on all criminal tax fraud charges

20:57 , Oliver O'Connell

A New York City jury has convicted two subsidiaries of former president Donald Trump’s eponymous real estate and licensing company, the Trump Organization of charges stemming from what prosecutors described as a sweeping, multi-decade scheme to avoid paying payroll taxes by compensating top executives with untaxed benefits such as housing and automobiles.

Jurors rendered a guilty verdict on all of the 15 charges included in an indictment filed last year against the Trump Corporation and the Trump Payroll Corporation, as well as its long-time chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg.

Andrew Feinberg reports on this breaking story.

Trump Organization found guilty on criminal tax fraud charges

Voices: Yes, this might be the end of Donald Trump... but we’ve been here before

20:35 , Oliver O'Connell

As the January 6 committee says it will be making criminal referrals to the Department of Justice (but has not said specifically who), the prospect of a former president being criminally charged has crept closer.

But, as Andrew Buncombe writes, we have been here before, many times.

Yes, this might be the end of Donald Trump but we’ve been here before

Family of Capitol officer who died after Jan 6 attack refuse to shake hands with GOP leaders

20:10 , Oliver O'Connell

The family of a US Capitol Police officer who received a posthumous Congressional Medal of Honor for his service during a violent riot inside the halls of Congress refused to shake hands with Republican leadership who presented the family with the award during a formal ceremony.

Alex Woodward has the story.

Family of Capitol officer who died after riot refuses to shake hands with GOP leaders

DoJ subpoenas three states for Trump communications connected to Jan 6 attack

19:46 , Oliver O'Connell

A recently appointed special counsel at the US Department of Justice has issued subpoenas for documents in three states that were central to former president Donald Trump’s attempt to subvert the outcome of the 2020 presidential election

Special counsel Jack Smith has subpoenaed officials in Arizona, Michigan and Wisconsin for communications with the former president, his campaign and others within his circle.

Alex Woodward has the story.

Justice Department subpoenas three states for Trump communications connected to Jan 6

McConnell comments on Trump calls for termination of Constitution

19:22 , Oliver O'Connell

Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has commented on former President Donald Trump’s calls for the termination of the Constitution.

“Anyone seeking the presidency who thinks that the constitution should somehow be suspended or not followed seems to me would have a very hard time being sworn in as the President of the United States,” he said.

To view this content, you'll need to update your privacy settings.
Please click here to do so.

The Independent’s Eric Garcia notes that Mr McConnelll doesn’t say Mr Trump’s comments disqualify him from running for the presidency.

To view this content, you'll need to update your privacy settings.
Please click here to do so.

Jury deliberations continue in Trump Organization tax fraud trial

19:10 , Oliver O'Connell

Jurors started deliberating Monday in the Trump Organization’s criminal tax fraud trial, weighing charges that former President Donald Trump’s company helped executives dodge personal income taxes on perks such as Manhattan apartments and luxury cars.

The deliberations follow a monthlong trial that featured testimony from seven witnesses, including longtime Trump Organization finance chief Allen Weisselberg and Senior Vice President and Controller Jeffrey McConney. An outside accountant who spent years preparing tax returns for Trump and the company also testified.

Read on:

Trump Organization tax fraud trial in jury's hands

Trump pays tribute to ‘great’ Kirstie Alley

18:40 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump has paid tribute to the late Kirstie Alley.

Alley died of cancer at the age of 71. She was a vocal supporter of the former US President.

On Monday (5 December), Trump wrote on Truth Social: “Kirstie was a great person who truly loved the USA. She will be missed!!!”

Peony Hirwani reports.

Trump pays tribute to ‘great’ Kirstie Alley

Mar-a-Lago papers: Trump facing peril

18:10 , Oliver O'Connell

As a businessman and president, Donald Trump faced a litany of lawsuits and criminal investigations yet emerged from the legal scrutiny time and again with his public and political standing largely intact.

But he’s perhaps never confronted a probe as perilous as the Mar-a-Lago investigation, an inquiry focused on the potential mishandling of top-secret documents. The sense of vulnerability has been heightened in recent weeks not only by the Justice Department‘s appointment of a special counsel with a reputation for aggressiveness but also by the removal of a Trump-requested independent arbiter in the case and by judges’ unequivocal rejection of his lawyers’ arguments.

It’s impossible to predict how much longer the investigation will last or whether the Justice Department will take the unprecedented step of indicting a former president and current candidate. But Trump is no longer shielded from prosecution the way he was as president, and some legal experts regard the Mar-a-Lago investigation as centered on more straightforward factual and legal questions than the prior probes he has dealt with.

Read on:

Trump faces peril in docs probe after decades of scrutiny

Watch: Family of police officer who defended Capitol refuse to shake Mitch McConnell’s hand

17:54 , Oliver O'Connell

Family of officer who defended Capitol refuse to shake Mitch McConnell’s hand

Jan 6 special counsel issues first subpoenas

17:52 , Oliver O'Connell

Special counsel Jack Smith has subpoenaed local officials in Arizona, Michigan, and Wisconsin for any and all communications with former President Donald Trump, his campaign, and a long list of aides and allies, The Washington Post reports.

The three states were central to the former president’s attempt to remain in power after the 2020 election.

Requests for records arrived in Dane County, Wisconsin; Maricopa County, Arizona; and Wayne County, Michigan last week, and in Milwaukee on Monday, officials told the Post.

These are the first known subpoenas issued by Mr Smith, who last month was named as a special counsel by Attorney General Merrick Garland with purview over the January 6 Capitol attack case and the criminal investigation into Mr Trump’s possible mishandling of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate.

Stunning details of Trump’s attempted ‘coup’ were revealed in the Jan 6 hearings... now come the criminal referrals

17:40 , Oliver O'Connell

“January 6 was the culmination of an attempted coup, a brazen attempt, as one rioter put it shortly after January 6, to overthrow the government.”

So spoke Democratic congressman Bennie Thompson in June, as the Jan 6 committee held its first televised meeting into the events that befell the building the nation’s elected officials were sitting in just 18 months earlier, as Donald Trump and his supporters tried to prevent Joe Biden taking office.

Now the committee is preparing to make criminal referrals.

Jan 6 hearings revealed stunning details of Trump’s attempted ‘coup’

Romney calls Trump RINO

17:22 , Oliver O'Connell

Senator Mitt Romney told reporters that Donald Trump’s calls to terminate the Constitution take him “from being MAGA to being RINO”, stressing that the Republican Party is the party of the Constitution.

Watch:

To view this content, you'll need to update your privacy settings.
Please click here to do so.

Former FBI and social media executives reject GOP allegations of improper contact between Twitter, FBI

17:10 , Oliver O'Connell

Recently minted Twitter owner Elon Musk says the company’s prior management team’s work liaising with political campaigns and the US government amounted to an egregious violation of the US Constitution’s freedom of speech guarantees.

Former president Donald Trump says the company’s October 2020 decision to temporarily restrict sharing of an unflattering story about Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden proves the last presidential election (which he lost) was tainted by “massive and widespread fraud and deception” that should be remedied by “termination” of the US Constitution and reinstating him as president.

But national security experts and former social media executives who spoke to The Independent in the days following Mr Musk’s leaking of internal company documents to a sympathetic former Rolling Stone journalist say the limited excerpts of the documents revealed in a lengthy Twitter thread late Friday show nothing out of the ordinary — and nothing even close to what Mr Musk alleges.

Andrew Feinberg reports for The Independent.

Ex- FBI and social media execs reject claims of improper contact between Twitter, FBI

Jan 6 criminal referral news comes as Congress awards medals to officers who defended Capitol

17:05 , Oliver O'Connell

The January 6 committee announced criminal referrals at almost the exact moment that Congress was awarding Congressional Gold Medals to officers who defended the Capitol when it came under attack.

To view this content, you'll need to update your privacy settings.
Please click here to do so.

January 6 Committee to make criminal referrals

16:44 , Oliver O'Connell

The chairman of the House select committee investigating the January 6 riot at the US Capitol told reporters that the committee has decided to make criminal referrals, CNNreported.

Representative Bennie Thompson, the chairman of the committee, told reporters that the committee had not narrowed down which people would be referred to the US Department of Justice.

When asked if he believed any witnesses perjured themselves, the Mississippi Democrat said “that’s part of the discussion.”

The Independent’s Eric Garcia reports from Washington, DC.

January 6 Committee will make criminal referrals

Murdoch to be deposed in $1.6bn Dominion defamation case against Fox News

16:40 , Oliver O'Connell

Fox chairman Rupert Murdoch has been summoned for questioning under oath in the Dominion Voting Systems defamation case against Fox News over its coverage of fraud claims in the 2020 presidential election.

Stuti Mishra has the details.

Rupert Murdoch to be deposed in $1.6bn Dominion defamation case against Fox News

Jan 6 committee to make criminal referrals to Justice Department

16:17 , Oliver O'Connell

The House select committee investigating the Capitol riot and the events leading up to it on 6 January 2021 has decided to make criminal referrals to the Department of Justice, the panel’s chairman, Representative Bennie Thompson, has told reporters.

Mr Thompson said the committee has not narrowed down which individuals might be referred, CNN reports. The committee is also discussing whether any witnesses have perjured themselves and will meet later today.

Trump failed to disclose $19.8m loan while he was president

16:10 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump did not disclose a $19.8m loan from a South Korean conglomerate with links to North Korea when he was the president, according to a new report.

The documents obtained by the New York attorney general showed an unreported liability Mr Trump owed to South Korean company Daewoo, reported Forbes.

Shweta Sharma reports.

Donald Trump failed to disclose $19.8m loan while he was president, report says

As Fox News ends Lara Trump’s contract, Trump laments losing network as ally

15:40 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump lamented losing Fox News as an ally on his Truth Social social media platform after his daughter-in-law was dropped by the network.

Lara Trump, the wife of Mr Trump’s son Eric Trump, was let go as a commentator for the network.

“Lara Trump was one of the smartest, quickest, nicest, and most professional people on Television. Her delivery, both in terms of presentation and content, was unbelievable—a true natural,” wrote Mr Trump on Truth Social.

Maroosha Muzaffar has the story.

Trump laments losing Fox News as an ally after network ends Lara Trump’s contract

Trump pitches Walker on Truth Social (between posts railing about investigations against him)

15:10 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump has made a last pitch for Republican Georgia Senate candidate Herschel Walker as voters head to the polls today. On Monday evening he posted: “To the Great State of Georgia, Get Out and Vote for the WONDERFUL Herschel Walker TOMORROW. Herschel was a fantastic Athlete, and he will be an even greater United States Senator! To all MAGA Voters, that is, people that want to Make America Great Again and Put America First, tomorrow is a big day. Vote for Herschel!”

He followed that post with a reminder this morning: “IMPORTANT: Tomorrow has become TODAY. To the Great State of Georgia, VOTE TODAY FOR HERSCHEL, he will never let you down!”

The twice-impeached, one-term former president lost Georgia in the 2020 election which also saw Walker’s Democratic rival Raphael Warnock elected to the Senate. Mr Warnock is now running for a full six-year term.

Mr Trump’s posts pitching for Mr Walker were sandwiched between posts ranting about the various investigations against him, namely the discovery of classified materials at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, and the ongoing probe into his business in New York.

While there has been a significant increase in murders and violent crimes in New York since the Covid-19 pandemic, Mr Trump is incorrect to say that they are at an all-time high — indeed they are approximately 20 per cent of the peak reached in 1990.

Trump trails Liz Cheney for 2024 in surprising new red state poll

14:50 , Johanna Chisholm

A surprising new poll from Republican stronghold Utah signals trouble ahead for Donald Trump - with voters favouring Liz Cheney over the former president for 2024.

According to a recent poll, Republican voters in Utah - who overwhelmingly supported Mr Trump in both 2016 and 2020 - are beginning to pin their hopes on two of his most avowed rivals: outgoing Wyoming Rep Cheney and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

In the poll by Deseret News/Hinckley Institute of Politics, Republican respondents had the one-term president finishing third among a field of potential 2024 GOP presidential candidates, a result that has been echoed in recent surveys of both Democratic and Republican voters, showing the hold that the “Make America Great Again” president has on the GOP might indeed be slipping.

In the poll, Rep Cheney, who has built her brand of politics over the last few years around taking swipes at the twice impeached president for his conduct inside and outside the Oval Office, placed second as she picked up 16.4 per cent support from Utah GOP primary voters.

Trump trails Liz Cheney for 2024 in surprising new red state poll

ICYMI: Biden administration attacks Trump call to terminate Constitution

14:30 , Johanna Chisholm

The Joe Biden administration has attacked Donald Trump’s call to “terminate” parts of the US Constitution to overturn the 2020 election, with an official calling it an “anathema to the soul of the nation”.

Reacting to the statement made by the former president on Saturday, White House spokesperson Andrew Bates said: “Attacking the constitution and all it stands for is anathema to the soul of our nation and should be universally condemned.”

Mr Bates called the constitution a “sacrosanct document”, adding: “You cannot only love America when you win.”

The former president’s comments have invited bipartisan ire with some Republicans condemning the comments while others refuse to react.

“Well, obviously I don’t support that,” representative-elect Mike Lawler said on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday. “The constitution is set for a reason, to protect the rights of every American.”

Biden administration attacks Trump for calling to terminate Constitution

John Bolton says he’s considering running for president in 2024

14:10 , Johanna Chisholm

John Bolton, the former White House national security advisor under Donald Trump, said Monday that he will “seriously consider” running for president in 2024 on the GOP ticket and challenge his former boss if he doesn’t see any other serious contenders dimming the former president’s chances of winning.

“We’ve got perhaps a dozen or more potential presidential candidates looking to 2024. I think every one of them, before they declare their candidacy, should say, ‘Donald Trump was wrong. We repudiate him. He doesn’t belong in the Republican Party,’” Mr Bolton said on NBC’s “Meet the Press NOW.”

“And, honestly, if they don’t, there’s one thing that would get me to get into the presidential race, which I looked at in previous elections. It would be to make it clear to the people of this country that Donald Trump is unacceptable as the Republican nominee,” he added.

To view this content, you'll need to update your privacy settings.
Please click here to do so.

Trevor Noah asks why Trump’s Constitution remarks are still making news: ‘It’s always the same thing'

13:50 , Johanna Chisholm

“Trump is like one of those guys that never stops trying to get back with his ex,” said Daily Show host Trevor Noah on Monday night while discussing the former president’s latest scandal.

“What a start to the Trump 2024 campaign. First he had dinner with Nazi lovers. Now he’s calling to scrap the Constitution,” said the Daily Show host. “What’s next? Is he gonna give the Lincoln Memorial enormous boobs? And still, the GOP’s gonna come out like, ‘well I personally would’ve gone for a tasteful B-cup, but President Trump’s heart is in the right place.’”

Watch the full clip below.

To view this content, you'll need to update your privacy settings.
Please click here to do so.

Trump falsely claims he never called to ‘terminate’ US constitution despite having said exactly that

13:30 , Johanna Chisholm

Former president Donald Trump claimed on Monday that he never advocated for an end to America’s constitution despite having called for its “termination” just days ago.

He claimed that news organisations, who have accurately reported his words (which are still posted on Truth Social) are “actually trying to convince the American People that I said I wanted to ‘terminate’ the Constitution” and called the accurate reporting of statements he has posted to the internet “disinformation and lies”.

A few minutes later, Mr Trump wrote in another post on the site that an “irrefutably fraudulent” election should “go to the rightful winner” or “should be redone”, even though there is no mechanism to do so under US law.

My colleague Andrew Feinberg has more details below.

Trump claims he never called to ‘terminate’ US constitution despite having done so

Jimmy Kimmel goes after Trump over Constitution remarks and North Korea loan

13:10 , Johanna Chisholm

Late-night host Jimmy Kimmel went after former president Donald Trump for his many headline-grabbing stories this week, including the report that claims that he failed to disclose a $19.8m loan from a South Korean conglomerate with links to North Korea when he was the president of the US and his remarks on Truth Social where he called for “terminating” parts of the Constitution.

“Trump wants to throw out the Constitution and replace it with this,” the ABC host said, before queuing up a joke version of “Trump’s Constitution”.

Watch the clip below:

To view this content, you'll need to update your privacy settings.
Please click here to do so.

Meta urged to overhaul moderation for high-profile users like Donald Trump ahead of his possible return to platform

12:50 , Johanna Chisholm

High-profile users on Meta platforms, such as Donald Trump, are leaving dangerous content up online longer than should be acceptable and are instead serving the business interests of the company, the Meta Oversight Board said in a report released Tuesday, according to The Hill.

The board, made up of academics, journalists, experts and civic leaders, is now urging the owner of Facebook and Instagram to overhaul its “cross-check” program, which delays enforcing content moderation measures for politicians, celebrities and other high-profile users.

Posts from these users - which from regular accounts would otherwise be “quicky removed” - were found in the 13-month audit to remain up on the platforms, leaving room to cause harm and instead seem poised to “satisfy business concerns”, the board said in the 57-page advisory.

“[The] delayed enforcement of violating content is a significant source of harm” under the program, the board wrote in its recommendation.

“In sum, the Board finds that while Meta characterizes the cross-check as a program to protect vulnerable and important voices, it appears to be more directly structured and calibrated to satisfy business concerns,” the board said.

The Meta Oversight Board

The report arrives just weeks before a decision is set to be made about the former president’s Facebook account and whether it will be reactivated on 7 January or remain suspended, a decision that was made following his incitement of violence ahead of the 6 January 2021 Capitol riot.

Rupert Murdoch to be deposed in $1.6bn Dominion defamation case against Fox News

12:31 , Johanna Chisholm

Fox chairman Rupert Murdoch has been summoned for questioning under oath in a case related to Fox News coverage during the 2020 presidential elections.

The 91-year-old media tycoon will be deposed next week as part of a $1.6bn defamation suit against his channel over its coverage during the election. Mr Murdoch, the founder of Fox Network and several other TV channels, will become the most high-profile name to be questioned in the case so far.

The lawsuit was brought in by election technology company Dominion Voting Systems against Fox News.

While Fox has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, Dominion has said it has proof the channel was in possession of information that the theories aired by them are baseless, but decided to continue to air them.

Rupert Murdoch to be deposed in $1.6bn Dominion defamation case against Fox News

More Republicans rebuke Trump’s Constitution remarks, but stop short of saying it should disqualify him from 2024

12:12 , Johanna Chisholm

As the repercussions of Donald Trump’s incendiary remarks about “terminating” parts of the Constitution in order to return him to power as president continued to ripple across DC, more GOP voices joined their Democratic counterparts in rebuking their fellow Republican.

Sen John Thune of South Dakota, the No. 2 Senate Republican, told CNN on Monday that he disagrees with Mr Trump’s post, adding that “I swear an oath to uphold the Constitution and it is a bedrock principle – it is the principle, the bedrock of our of our country.”

“I couldn’t disagree more,” he said, before walking back his harsh words by noting that he doesn’t believe it should disqualify him from running for president again.

“He’s going to say what he’s going to say. I don’t think anybody’s going to control that, but I do think if you’re one of the other candidates, this is a golden opportunity.”

Republican Sen Mike Rounds of South Dakota said in a post about the former president’s comments shared on Twitter that “Anyone who desires to lead our country must commit to protecting the Constitution. They should not threaten to terminate it.”

To view this content, you'll need to update your privacy settings.
Please click here to do so.

Fellow Republican senators John Cornyn of Texas and Rick Scott of Florida similarly followed their South Dakota colleagues careful treading of the line by acknowledging that while they found Trump’s words “certainly irresponsible” they could not comment on whether it disqualified him from the White House.

“I believe in the Constitution,” said Sen Scott, but when asked by CNN if Trump should be prevented from running for office, he added: “I think the voters get to decide those things.”

Republican senators have finally found a reason to turn on Trump

‘Not healthy’ for Elon Musk to publish Hunter Biden laptop files, says White House

11:45 , Johanna Chisholm

Elon Musk’s decision to publish internal company files revealing Twitter’s censorship of media reporting on Hunter Biden’s laptop was “not healthy”, the White House said.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said on Monday that publishing the internal company files about a story the right-wing MAGA enthusiasts have clamoured around for years acted as a “distraction”,

“What is happening — it’s frankly, it’s not healthy. It won’t do anything to help a single American improve their lives,” she said.

“And so look, we see this as an interesting, you know, coincidence, and you know, it’s a distraction,” Ms Jean-Pierre concluded during her Monday briefing.

“We see this as an interesting, or a coincidence, if I may, that he would so haphazardly — Twitter would so haphazardly push this distraction that is full of old news, if you think about it,” she said.

‘Not healthy’ for Elon Musk to publish Hunter Biden laptop files, says White House

Trump laments losing Fox News as an ally after network ends daughter-in-law’s contract

11:15 , Johanna Chisholm

Donald Trump lamented losing Fox News as an ally on Truth Social after his daughter-in-law was dropped by the network.

Lara Trump, the wife of Mr Trump’s son Eric Trump, was let go as a commentator for the network.

“Lara Trump was one of the smartest, quickest, nicest, and most professional people on Television. Her delivery, both in terms of presentation and content, was unbelievable—a true natural,” wrote Mr Trump on Truth Social.

“Fox News is a much different place now than it was just a short time ago, but the audience loved Lara, her insight and vision—and so does the Trump Family!” he added.

Fox News portrayed the parting with Ms Trump as amiable and said that since Mr Trump announced he will run for president for a third time on 15 November, Ms Trump could not continue to be a part of the network.

The former president’s son and husband of Ms Trump echoed those sentiments on his own Truth Social account Monday, writing: “I am so incredibly proud of @laraleatrump. She built an unbelievable following, represented herself with grace and dignity and was truly loved by her colleagues, and millions across America.”

Eric Trump shares a post about his wife, Lara Trump, departing from Fox News as a contributor (Truth Social/Eric Trump)
Eric Trump shares a post about his wife, Lara Trump, departing from Fox News as a contributor (Truth Social/Eric Trump)

“Politics can be “complicated” but Lara is a rockstar in front of the camera, in the gym, as a mom and as a wife. She is incredible on every front and is such a solid voice to so many women across our country. I am proud of her and I can’t wait to be by her side for her next adventure!”

White House asks Republicans to condemn Trump remarks on US constitution

10:30 , Namita Singh

The White House has condemned Donald Trump’s weekend remarks that called for suspension of constitutional rules, and urged more Republicans to come forward to rebuke the former president.

“Every president and every member of Congress swears to ‘defend’ the constitution of the United States,” White House spokesperson Andrew Bates said.

Andrew Bates during a press briefing in the Brady Room of the White House in Washington, DC (AFP via Getty Images)
Andrew Bates during a press briefing in the Brady Room of the White House in Washington, DC (AFP via Getty Images)

“Asking Members of Congress to reaffirm their oath of office and uphold the constitution should not be a heavy lift. Congressional Republicans need to do that immediately, instead of repeatedly refusing to answer the most basic question,” Mr Bates said.

Some Republicans condemned the remarks made by Mr Trump on Saturday on his Truth Social online platform but many remained silent or did not condemn him by name.

“A Massive Fraud of this type and magnitude allows for the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution,” Mr Trump had said on Saturday, reiterating his false claims that the 2020 election he lost to president Joe Biden was rigged.

ICYMI: Mike Pence responds to Trump’s threat to ‘terminate' Constitution

10:00 , Alex Woodward

Asked to respond to Donald Trump’s threat to “terminate” the US Constitution during a radio interview on Monday, former vice president Mike Pence said he and other officials have taken an oath to “commit ourselves to support and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

“I think everyone that serves in public office, everyone that aspires to serve or to serve again, should make it clear we will support and defend the Constitution of the United States, which I believe by God’s grace I was able to do during not only my tenure as vice president but during those tumultuous days at the end,” Mr Pence said.

Those “tumultuous days” include Trump’s pressure campaign to get his then-vice president to subvert the outcome of the 2020 election, and a violent riot fuelled by Trump’s rejection of those results; Mr Pence was escorted out of the Capitol on 6 January, 2021, as a mob chanted “hang Mike Pence” and stormed the halls of Congress.

Hours later Mr Pence presided over the certification of electoral college votes.

What’s at stake as Trump Organization trial deliberations continue

09:37 , Namita Singh

It’s one ballot, former president Donald Trump would rather not be associated with: the verdict sheet at his company’s criminal tax fraud trial.

Deliberations are spilling into a second day as jurors weigh charges that the Trump Organization helped executives dodge personal income taxes on perks such as Manhattan apartments and luxury cars.

The case went to the jury Monday follow a monthlong trial featuring testimony from seven witnesses, including the company’s longtime finance chief Allen Weisselberg and senior vice president and controller Jeffrey McConney.They deliberated for about four hours on Monday and returned to the courtroom with a question just once as they sought to clarify one of the charges.

Former US president Donald Trump greets supporters during an event at his Mar-a-Lago home on 15 November 2022 in Palm Beach, Florida (Getty Images)
Former US president Donald Trump greets supporters during an event at his Mar-a-Lago home on 15 November 2022 in Palm Beach, Florida (Getty Images)

Prosecutors charged the Trump Organization in July 2021, seeking to hold the company accountable for the actions of some of its most loyal, longest-serving executives.

Mr Weisselberg, charged in the same indictment, subsequently pleaded guilty and testified at the company’s trial that he conspired with Mr McConney to hide company-paid perks, in part by adjusting payroll records to deduct their cost from his salary.

Mr Weisselberg, a Trump Organization employee since 1986, said the arrangement reduced his tax liability while also saving the company money because it didn’t have to give him a hefty raise to cover the cost of the perks and additional income taxes he would have incurred.

Other executives were also accused of avoiding taxes on company perks, but no one else was charged.

Jurors are being asked to decide if Mr Weisselberg was a “high managerial agent” acting on the company’s behalf when he hatched his tax dodge scheme, as prosecutors allege, or if he was acting in his own interest, as Trump Organization lawyers contend.

They must also determine if he intended to benefit the company’s bottom line, not just his own.

ICYMI: Former Justice Department official heading to Manhattan DA’s office to lead Trump probe

09:00 , Alex Woodward

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg (REUTERS)
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg (REUTERS)

The Manhattan District Attorney’s office has hired a former official at the US Department of Justice to help lead New York prosecutors’ criminal investigation into Donald Trump.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg announced on Monday that Matthew Colangelo has been tapped as a senior counsel.

Mr Colangelo will focus on issues surrounding housing and tenant protections and labour and worker issues “as well as the office’s most sensitive and high-profile white-collar investigations,” according to a statement from Mr Bragg’s office.

“Public safety requires economic stability, and all New Yorkers deserve to live and work without risk of harassment, wage theft, or dangerous workplaces,” Mr Bragg said in a statement.

The revelation that Mr Colangelo will assist with the office’s Trump investigation came from The New York Times.

“Those who would harass tenants, steal wages, endanger workers, or defraud the public should know that the Manhattan DA’s office has never had a stronger, more dedicated team in place to enforce our laws and hold them accountable,” Mr Bragg added in his statement.

Mr Colangelo also has experience at the New York attorney general office, where he led dozens of lawsuits against the Trump administration, as well as a probe into the Trump Foundation, which ultimately led to its dissolve.

His investigations also led to Attorney General Letitia James’s lawsuit against Mr Trump and his business empire.

Trump failed to disclose $19.8m loan while he was president, says report

08:30 , Namita Singh

Donald Trump did not disclose a $19.8m loan from a South Korean conglomerate with links to North Korea when he was the president of the US, according to a new report.

The documents obtained by the New York attorney general showed an unreported liability Mr Trump owed to South Korean company Daewoo, reported Forbes.

Mr Trump owed millions of dollars to the company while he was running for the White House in 2016 and paid off the loan just after five months into his presidency, the documents revealed.

He did not list the debt as candidates are expected to in their financial disclosure filings and seemed to have acted with some urgency to clear the debt off his balance sheet, the report said.

My colleague Shweta Sharma reports:

Donald Trump failed to disclose $19.8m loan while he was president, says report

ICYMI: Giuliani defends his 2020 election challenges as he faces professional sanctions

08:00 , Alex Woodward

Former Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani is being questioned by a committee at the Washington DC Bar Board of Professional Responsibility to determine whether he violated ethics rules with his federal court challenges to subvert the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.

During his testimony on Monday, he echoed baseless claims about the election and complained that federal investigators have “persecuted” him.

Disciplinary counsel Hamilton Fox dismissed his legal challenge as “frivolous” and argued that Mr Giuliani has “weaponised his law license” to “undermine the Constitution to which he, like all members of the District of Columbia Bar, took an oath to support.”

He was suspended from the New York bar last year for his “false and misleading” statements about the 2020 election.

Proceedings in the hearing are expected to last through this week. The committee then will draft a report and issue recommendations to the full board for disciplinary actions.

ICYMI: Trump falsely claims he never called to ‘terminate’ US constitution despite having said exactly that

07:00 , Alex Woodward

Trump’s suggestion that he would endorse the “termination” of the Constitution after his 2020 election loss, a race that he continues to falsely claim was “stolen” from him and marred by widespread fraud, was met with a resounding rebuke from Democratic and Republican officials.

In an apparent response to criticism, the former president posted on Truth Social to claim he never said what he said just two days earlier.

Trump claims he never called to ‘terminate’ US constitution despite having done so

John Bolton may ‘seriously consider’ presidential run after Trump’s ‘disqualifying’ statement

06:00 , Alex Woodward

Former Trump-era national security adviser John Bolton said he would consider running for president to “stop some of the things Trump has done to the party” after the former president suggested he would “terminate” the Constitution after falsely claiming that the 2020 election was stolen from him.

“I’d like to see Shermanesque statements from all the potential candidates,” he said. “If I don’t see that, then I’m going to seriously consider getting in.”

Mr Bolton called Trump’s statement “disqualifying.”

Trump is the only candidate who has so far formally announced a run for the GOP nomination in 2024.

To view this content, you'll need to update your privacy settings.
Please click here to do so.

Trump’s political action committee is paying legal bills for Mar-a-Lago witnesses

05:00 , Alex Woodward

 (AP)
(AP)

Trump’s Save America political action committee is paying legal bills for key witnesses involved in the federal investigation into his mishandling of White House documents at his Florida compound, according to The Washington Post.

The former president’s fundraising arm is supporting former administration officials Kash Patel and Dan Scavino as well as Trump valet Walt Nauta, according to the report.

Mr Nauta reportedly told federal investigators that Trump instructed him to move boxes at Mar-a-Lago.

They are reportedly being represented by Brand Woodward Law, which was paid $120,000 by Save America.

Rupert Murdoch to be deposed in 2020 election defamation case over bogus voting machines claims

04:00 , Alex Woodward

Fox Corporation chair Rupert Murdoch will be forced to answer questions under oath next about his network’s coverage of the 2020 presidential election as part of a $1.6bn defamation lawsuit against Fox News, which is accused of purposefully airing false claims about Dominion Voting Systems during the 2020 presidential election.

According to a filing in Delaware, Mr Murdoch’s deposition will be performed remotely via video conference on December 13 and 14. The filings were first reported by The Washington Post.

During a hearing in October, Dominion attorney Justin Nelson argued that the network’s coverage was “an orchestrated effort,” not just the responsibility of “each host individually,” but “across Fox News as a company.”

Mr Murdoch’s son Lachlan Murdoch was deposed on Monday.

Arizona certifies election results as Kari Lake threatens lawsuit

03:00 , Alex Woodward

Arizona officials have certified the state’s results from 2022 elections, what has historically been a routine ceremony but has faced unrelenting scrutiny from conspiracy theroists and the candidates and supporters who have refused to accept the outcome.

“Arizona had a successful election. But too often, throughout the process, powerful voices proliferated misinformation that threatened to disenfranchise voters,” said Arizona secretary of state Katie Hobbs, who defeated Kari Lake in the governor’s race.

“Democracy prevailed, but it’s not out of the woods,” she added on Monday, pointing to the surge in so-called election deniers and the likely challenges ahead in 2024 elections.

To view this content, you'll need to update your privacy settings.
Please click here to do so.

Also signing the certifications were Governor Doug Ducey and Arizona attorney general Mark Brnovich – both of whom are Republicans.

Ms Lake and secretary of state candidate Mark Finchem, both of whom have amplified bogus election-related conspiracies, were endorsed by Trump. Both lost their races. Republican candidate for attorney general Abe Hamedeh, a third so-called election denier running for one of three top statewide offices in Arizona and who also is endorsed by Trump, is trailing Democrat Kris Mayes by 500 votes. A winner has not been declared in that race.

Ms Lake told far-right conspiracy theorist Steve Bannon that her campaign is “ready to go with what we believe to be an exceptional lawsuit.”

“And we believe we will be victorious in that lawsuit,” she said.

To view this content, you'll need to update your privacy settings.
Please click here to do so.

Chuck Schumer: ‘Trump can’t seem to go a week without doing or saying something disgusting, dishonourable or disqualifying'

01:00 , Alex Woodward

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer condemned Trump’s latest antidemocratic attack in remarks from the Senate floor on Monday, delivering a rebuke of the former president’s comments on Truth Social suggesting the “termination” of the Constitution after his 2020 election loss.

“Donald Trump cannot seem to go a week without doing or saying something disgusting, dishonourable, or frankly disqualifying for high office,” he said.

He also condemned his dinner with antisemitic far-right influencers Kanye West and Nick Fuentes as well as his recent remarks calling fo the suspension of laws “because he lost the 2020 elechion,” Mr Schumer said.

“Aside from the pettiness and the ego of that, it’s as if Donald Trump is on a mission to find new ways to sink lower and lower at the detriment of America,” he said.

To view this content, you'll need to update your privacy settings.
Please click here to do so.

Republicans distance themselves from Trump’s remarks: ‘He goes from MAGA to RINO’

00:31 , Alex Woodward

Lindsey Graham said he understood Trump’s anger but told The Independent his remarks about terminating the Constitution or laws was “very inappropriate.”

“He’s frustrated because of the, you know, bias in the media and Democrats controlling Twitter and Russia, joke of investigation,” he said. “But the statement was inappropriate and I’m glad to see him clarify.”

More from The Independent’s Eric Garcia:

Republicans distance themselves from Trump’s remarks about the Constitution

White House rebukes Trump’s calls to suspend Constitution over 2020 election

00:00 , Alex Woodward

Over the weekend, White House spokesperson Andrew Bates said that “attacking the Constitution and all it stands for is anathema to the soul of our nation and should be universally condemned.”

“You cannot only love America when you win,” he added.

Biden administration attacks Trump for calling to terminate Constitution

Trump-endorsed New Hampshire senate candidate eyeing state party leadership after loss

Monday 5 December 2022 23:00 , Alex Woodward

Don Bolduc, who lost the race for a Senate seat in New Hampshire against incumbent Democratic candidate Maggie Hassan by nine points, is now running for a leadership role in the state’s Republican party.

“I was humbled by the outpouring of support during my Senate run and the encouragement of the grassroots to stay involved in the political process,” he said in a statement on Monday.

“The last few weeks laid bare the need to change as a party,” he added. “We have to counter the misconceptions peddled by the other side while convincing voters the core beliefs of the GOP are the policies best suited for their needs and to bring back American Strength.”

During his campaign, Mr Bolduc amplified Trump’s baseless election lies, including a false statement that Trump “won” in 2020 and an interview in which he falsely claimed that there was a “tremendous amount of fraud” and that Democratic officials conspired to “steal the presidency.”

He later appeared to walk back some of his claims – which Trump criticised after Mr Bolduc’s loss.

John Cornyn: Trump’s comments are ‘irresponsible'

Monday 5 December 2022 22:30 , Namita Singh

Republican Senator John Cornyn told reporters that Trump’s suggestion that the US Constitution be “terminated” is “irresponsible.”

He said he is at a “loss for words” why Trump, who is running for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, would explicitly call for the suspension of democracy to subvert the 2020 election that he lost.

To view this content, you'll need to update your privacy settings.
Please click here to do so.

“I don’t know why anybody would say something like that, certainly not an ex-president,” he said. “I just think it’s irresponsible.”

To view this content, you'll need to update your privacy settings.
Please click here to do so.

Top GOP senator ‘couldn’t disagree more’ with Trump’s comments

Monday 5 December 2022 22:00 , Alex Woodward

Senate Minority Whip John Thune told reporters on Monday that he “couldn’t disagree more” with Trump’s call for the “termination” of the Constitution after his baseless claims of 2020 election fraud.

“Of course I disagree with that. I swear an oath to uphold the Constitution, and it is a bedrock principle – it is the principle, the bedrock of our country. So I couldn’t disagree more,” Mr Thune said, according to The Hill.

“It’s going to be the grist of the campaign,” he added. “If you’re one of these other people who’s interested in running this year, this is certainly an opportunity that would create some contrast.”

To view this content, you'll need to update your privacy settings.
Please click here to do so.

Breaking: Michael Avenatti sentenced to 14 years in prison for embezzling clients’ money

Monday 5 December 2022 21:30 , Alex Woodward

Michael Avenatti, who represented adult film star Stormy Daniels in her legal battles against Donald Trump, was sentenced to 14 years in prison after stealing millions of dollars from clients.

Michael Avenatti sentenced to 14 years in prison for embezzling clients’ money

Former Justice Department official heading to Manhattan DA’s office to lead Trump probe

Monday 5 December 2022 21:00 , Alex Woodward

The Manhattan District Attorney’s office has hired a former official at the US Department of Justice to help lead New York prosecutors’ criminal investigation into Donald Trump.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg announced on Monday that Matthew Colangelo has been tapped as a senior counsel.

Mr Colangelo will focus on issues surrounding housing and tenant protection and labor and worker protection “as well as the office’s most sensitive and high-profile white-collar investigations,” according to an announcement. “Public safety requires economic stability, and all New Yorkers deserve to live and work without risk of harassment, wage theft, or dangerous workplaces,” Mr Bragg said in a statement.

The revelation that Mr Colangelo will assist with the office’s Trump investigation came from The New York Times.

“Those who would harass tenants, steal wages, endanger workers, or defraud the public should know that the Manhattan DA’s office has never had a stronger, more dedicated team in place to enforce our laws and hold them accountable,” Mr Bragg added in his statement.

Mr Colangelo also has experience at the New York attorney general office, where he led dozens of lawsuits against the Trump administration, as well as a probe into the Trump Foundation, which ultimately led to its dissolve.

His investigations also led to Attorney General Letitia James’s lawsuit against Mr Trump and his business empire.

Mike Pence responds to Trump’s threat to Constitution

Monday 5 December 2022 20:30 , Alex Woodward

Asked to respond to Trump’s threat to “terminate” the US Constitution during a radio interview on Monday, former vice president Mike Pence said he and other official took an oath to “commit ourselves to support and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

“I think everyone that serves in public office, everyone that aspires to serve or to serve again, should make it clear we will support and defend the Constitution of the United States, which I believe by God’s grace I was able to do during not only my tenure as vice president but during those tumultuous days at the end,” Mr Pence said.

Those “tumultuous days” include Trump’s pressure campaign to get his then-vice president to subvert the outcome of the 2020 election, and a violent riot fuelled by Trump’s rejection of those results; Mr Pence was escorted out of the Capitol on 6 January, 2021, as a mob chanted “hang Mike Pence” as it stormed the halls of Congress. Hours later he presided over the certification of electoral college votes.

Giuliani defends his 2020 election challenges as he faces professional sanctions

Monday 5 December 2022 20:00 , Alex Woodward

Former Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani is being questioned by the a committee at the Washington DC Bar Board of Professional Responsibility to determine whether he violated attorney ethics rules with his federal court challenges to subvert the outcome of the 2020 presidentuial election.

During his testimony, he has continued baseless claims about the election, complained that federal investigators have “persecuted” him,

Disciplinary counsel Hamilton Fox dismissed his legal challenge as “frivolous,” and that Mr Giuliani has “weaponized his law license” to “undermine the Constitution to which he, like all members of the District of Columbia Bar, took an oath to support.”

He was suspended from the New York bar last year for his “false and misleading” statements about the 2020 election.

Proceedings in the hearing are expected to last through this week. The committee then will draft a report and issue recommendations to the full board for disciplinary actions.

Today’s hearing is ongoing.

Trump falsely claims he never called to ‘terminate’ US constitution despite having said exactly that

Monday 5 December 2022 19:30 , Alex Woodward

The former president’s disturbing suggestion that the US Constitution should be terminated was met with widespread backlash, including from members of his own party.

Apparently in reaction to the criticism, he took to his Truth Social again on Monday to claim he’d never said what he’d said two days before.

Trump claims he never called to ‘terminate’ US constitution despite having done so

Trump trails Liz Cheney for 2024 in surprising new red state poll

Monday 5 December 2022 19:05 , Johanna Chisholm

A surprising new poll from Republican stronghold Utah signals trouble ahead for Donald Trump - with voters favouring Liz Cheney over the former president for 2024.

According to a recent poll, Republican voters in Utah - who overwhelmingly supported Mr Trump in both 2016 and 2020 - are beginning to pin their hopes on two of his most avowed rivals: outgoing Wisconsin Rep Cheney and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

In the poll by Deseret News/Hinckley Institute of Politics, Republican respondents had the one-term president finishing third among a field of potential 2024 GOP presidential candidates, a result that has been echoed in recent surveys of both Democratic and Republican voters, showing the hold that the “Make America Great Again” president has on the GOP might indeed be slipping.

In the poll, Rep Cheney, who has built her brand of politics over the last few years around taking swipes at the twice impeached president for his conduct inside and outside the Oval Office, placed second as she picked up 16.4 per cent support from Utah GOP primary voters.

Trump trails Liz Cheney for 2024 in surprising new red state poll

Analysis: Donald Trump has stumbled out of the blocks in his 2024 campaign

Monday 5 December 2022 18:40 , Johanna Chisholm

Another Donald Trump tantrum – this time calling for the “termination” of the election rules in the US constitution in order to overturn the results of the 2020 election and reinstate him as president – has been met with another, almost weary, response from the White House.

Trump has repeatedly, and falsely, claimed that he was the true winner of that presidential election, and it never takes much to get him to wade back into those waters. The trigger this time was the release of internal Twitter emails showing deliberation over an October 2020 New York Post story concerning material found on a laptop belonging to Hunter Biden (the son of the current president). The emails show employees in the legal, policy and communications departments at Twitter at times disagreeing over whether to restrict the article under the company’s hacked materials policy.

It is the latest in a string of events that have characterised the first few weeks of Trump’s bid for re-election in 2024 as it stumbled out of the blocks.

From controversies to legal cases and social media rants, the former president has probably not begun his re-election bid in the way his team would want, explains Chris Stevenson in his latest.

Politics Explained: Donald Trump has stumbled out of the blocks in his 2024 campaign

Trump faces peril in docs probe after decades of scrutiny

Monday 5 December 2022 18:20 , Associated Press

As a businessman and president, Donald Trump faced a litany of lawsuits and criminal investigations yet emerged from the legal scrutiny time and again with his public and political standing largely intact.

But he’s perhaps never confronted a probe as perilous as the Mar-a-Lago investigation, an inquiry focused on the potential mishandling of top-secret documents. The sense of vulnerability has been heightened in recent weeks not only by the Justice Department‘s appointment of a special counsel with a reputation for aggressiveness but also by the removal of a Trump-requested independent arbiter in the case and by judges’ unequivocal rejection of his lawyers’ arguments.

It’s impossible to predict how much longer the investigation will last or whether the Justice Department will take the unprecedented step of indicting a former president and current candidate. But Trump is no longer shielded from prosecution the way he was as president, and some legal experts regard the Mar-a-Lago investigation as centered on more straightforward factual and legal questions than the prior probes he has dealt with.

“Unlike many of these past investigations which involved these complex financial frauds where prosecutors have to explain to a jury why the conduct is even a crime to begin with, here prosecutors won’t have that difficulty, won’t have that challenge to explain what the crime is about” if charges are ultimately filed, said former Justice Department prosecutor Robert Mintz.

Read the full report here with The Independent.

Trump faces peril in docs probe after decades of scrutiny

Trump, who suggested calling for the ‘termination’ of the Constitution, denies calling for the termination of the Constitution

Monday 5 December 2022 18:08 , Alex Woodward

Donald Trump has denied making what was an explicitly antidemocratic statement suggesting “massive fraud” in the 2020 presidential election “allows for the termination of all rules, regulations and articles, even those found in the Constitution.”

In another post on his Truth Social account on Monday, following up his statement from just two days ago, the former president claims that the “fake news” is “actually trying to convince the American People that I said I wanted to ‘terminate’ the Constitution.”

Here’s what he wrote on Saturday: “A Massive Fraud of this type and magnitude allows for the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution.”

In his post on Monday, he called reports that accurately captured what he wrote “disinformation and lies”.

Sacha Baron Cohen returns as Borat to take aim at Trump and Kanye West

Monday 5 December 2022 18:00 , Johanna Chisholm

Sacha Baron Cohen took aim at Kanye West and Donald Trump in a new Borat skit on stage at the 2022 Kennedy Center Honors.

The actor and comedian returned as Borat Sagdiyev during a segment of the night paying tribute to U2.

Baron Cohen began speaking as the character by pretending to mistake president Joe Biden, who was in attendence, for former president Trump.

“I am told the president of US today is here,” he said, per Deadline. “Where are you Mr Trump? You don’t look so good.”

Biden could be seen laughing alongside his wife, Jill, in the audience.

“Where has your blown-ass big belly gone? And your pretty orange skin without fail,” the character continued. “I see you have a new wife. Whoa whoa whooo wha! She is very erotic.”

Baron Cohen, who is Jewish, then turned his attention to antisemitism, while still in character as Borat.

“I must say I’m very upset about the antisemitism in the US today,” he said. “It’s not fair. Kazakhstan is the number one Jew-crushing nation. Stop stealing our hobby. Stop the steal. Stop the steal.”

Louis Chilton has more here.

Sacha Baron Cohen returns as Borat to take aim at Trump and Kanye West

Ron DeSantis short-listed for Time magazine’s Person of the Year

Monday 5 December 2022 17:30 , Johanna Chisholm

MSNBC Morning Joe hosts found themselves flabbergasted at the news that Florida Gov Ron DeSantis has been short-listed for Time magazine’s Person of the Year award, finding himself alongside figures like Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky.

“His presence on the list is because he won reelection in massive landslide, he flipped Miami-Dade and much to the chagrin of a former constituent is on the cusp of really being the frontrunner for the Republican nomination,” explained Time executive editor Ben Goldberger on the MSNBC program, hinting at how “former constituent” - Donald Trump - has reportedly been enraged at the prospect that the Florida governor could challenge him for the GOP ticket in 2024.

To view this content, you'll need to update your privacy settings.
Please click here to do so.

Trump’s spokesperson says that ex-president holding a telerally for Senate candidate Walker tonight

Monday 5 December 2022 17:10 , Johanna Chisholm

A spokesperson for Donald Trump says that the former president plans to hold a phone call rally for Georgia Senate candidate Herschel Walker, a Republican he endorsed early on in the race but who failed to gain the necessary majority during the November midterms forcing him and Senator Raphael Warnock into a runoff election.

“If you want a big game day turnout for Herschel, you bring in President Trump,” said Liz Harrington on Monday while appearing on Real America’s Voice.

“Herschel is a great man, a great candidate,” added Ms Harrington.

Early voting in the Georgia runoff election began last month, shortly after the results from the 11 November race were certified. The polls open for in-person voting on Tuesday morning.

To view this content, you'll need to update your privacy settings.
Please click here to do so.

Lisa Murkowski becomes latest Republican to berate Trump for his remarks

Monday 5 December 2022 16:50 , Johanna Chisholm

Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski became the latest Republican to shame Donald Trump for suggesting over the weekend that parts of the Constitution be “terminated” to better serve his widely debunked claims of election fraud in 2020.

“Suggesting the termination of the Constitution is not only a betrayal of our Oath of Office, it’s an affront to our Republic,” the Alaska senator wrote on Twitter late Sunday night, about a day after he’d made the controversy-stirring remark.

To view this content, you'll need to update your privacy settings.
Please click here to do so.

Trump activist Harmeet Dhillon preparing to challenge Ronna McDaniel for RNC chair

Monday 5 December 2022 16:30 , Johanna Chisholm

Harmeet Dhillon, a Republican National Committee person whose firm represents former president Donald Trump, is reportedly preparing to challenge Ronna McDaniel in the RNC race for the chair, joining MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell and perhaps even Rep Lee Zeldin, who is also weighing his options for a bid.

Politico reported that Ms Dhillon has been talking with fellow RNC members about a prospective run, according to two people familiar with her planning. A formal announcement from the Trump loyalist could arrive within the next few days.

Fox & Friends host Steve Doocy calls Trump’s comments ‘crazy'

Monday 5 December 2022 16:10 , Johanna Chisholm

Fox & Friends host Steve Doocy called out the suggestion that Donald Trump made over the weekend, in which he proposed “terminating” parts of the Constitution in order to have the results of the 2020 election hashed out again, “crazy”.

“He said yesterday that the Constitution should be thrown out, which is crazy,” said the Fox host on Sunday morning, to which is colleague quipped, “he wants a redo”.

The conversation didn’t linger on the issue of Trump’s remarks for much longer than that thought, as the group quickly pivoted to the issue of how Elon Musk and journalist Matt Taibibi released a trove of internal Twitter documents on Friday night showing how Twitter temporarily suppressed the report about Hunter Biden’s laptop, fearing it was a Russian hacking operation days out from the 2020 presidential election.

To view this content, you'll need to update your privacy settings.
Please click here to do so.

Milos Yiannopoulos out as Ye’s campaign manager

Monday 5 December 2022 15:50 , Johanna Chisholm

Far-right agitator and online provocateur Milos Yiannopoulos has parted ways with the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, who he’d been working for as a campaign manager in Ye’s informal 2024 presidential campaign, The Daily Beast reports.

“Ye and I have come to the mutual conclusion that I should step away from his political team,” Mr Yiannopoulos said in an interview with the news outlet on Sunday afternoon. “I will continue to pray for Ye and all his endeavors.”

The far-right agitator was brought on board by West as one of the first operatives in his supposed bid for the White House, a team that also counts white nationalist Nick Fuentes as one of the team members.

Mr Yiannopoulos recently made headlines after he claimed that the disastrous Mar-a-Lago dinner that saw Mr Trump break bread with one of the US’s most prominent racists came as a result of his own plans and schemes.

What to watch in Tuesday's Georgia Senate runoff election

Monday 5 December 2022 15:30 , Johanna Chisholm

The extended Senate campaign in Georgia gives Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock and Trump-endorsed Republican challenger Herschel Walker a second chance to persuade voters to send them to Washington. But without party control of Congress at stake and absent other candidates on the ticket, the runoff looks different from the November general election.

The results of the AP VoteCast survey illustrate some of the challenges each candidate faces on Tuesday. Mr Walker will need to turn out a GOP base that wasn’t enamored with him to start with, and do it without the more popular Gov. Brian Kemp on the ballot. Mr Warnock must get his coalition of some lower-propensity voting groups to turn out.

And both candidates have to motivate voters despite a predetermined balance of power in Washington.

Keep reading to learn more about what’s at stake.

What to watch in Tuesday's Georgia Senate runoff election

Utah voters might be ready to move on from Trump

Monday 5 December 2022 15:10 , Johanna Chisholm

Utah - a state that Donald Trump won in both 2016 and 2020 - might be ready to move on from the “Make America Great Again” president.

A new poll from Deseret News/Hinckley Institute of Politics found that Republican voters in the deep red state had the one-term president finishing third among a field of potential 2024 GOP presidential candidates, placing him behind his known adversary for the GOP ticket - Florida Gov Ron DeSantis - and, likely to his shock and great dismay, outgoing Wyoming congresswoman Liz Cheney.

Rep Cheney, who has built her brand of politics over the last few years around taking swipes at the twice impeached president for his conduct inside and outside the Oval Office, came in second in the Deseret News/Hinckley survey with 16.4 per cent support from Utah GOP primary voters.

Gov DeSantis, a likely challenger for Mr Trump on the GOP ticket in 2024, came in first with 24.2 per cent.

More damning than that, the survey found that overall, around six out of 10 Utahns have an unfavourable impression of the former president, with those scores ticking up slightly for registered Republican voters.

If the Republican presidential primary were held today, only 14.4 per cent of Utahns would vote for the former president, who announced his candidacy for the White House for a third time last month from his home in Mar-a-Lago.

Elon Musk dismisses Donald Trump’s call to ‘terminate’ parts of the US Constitution

Monday 5 December 2022 14:50 , Johanna Chisholm

Tech titan-turned-online provocateur Elon Musk has weighed in on Donald Trump’s proposal to “terminate” parts of the US Constitution to overturn the 2020 election.

The Tesla chief executive wrote on Twitter, a social media platform he recently acquired for $44bn, that he agreed with the Democrats and the select number of Republicans who had come out swinging against the one-term president for suggesting that the landmark legal document be amended to suit him.

“The Constitution is greater than any President. End of story,” tweeted Mr Musk late Sunday night, about a day after Mr Trump took to his own social media platform – Truth Social – to falsely claim that the results of the 2020 election were “fraudulent” and argued that, therefore, the country’s supreme law should bend to his will.

Johanna Chisholm has more details here.

Elon Musk dismisses Donald Trump’s call to ‘terminate’ parts of the US Constitution

Jury deliberations commence in Trump Organization tax fraud trial

Monday 5 December 2022 14:30 , Johanna Chisholm

After prosecutors and the defence delivered closing arguments at the Trump Organization’s criminal tax fraud trial last week, the 12-person jury is set to begin deliberations Monday.

The Trump Organization, the entity through which former President Donald Trump manages his real estate holdings and other ventures, is accused of helping some top executives avoid paying income taxes on company-paid perks, such as apartments and luxury cars.

The 15-count indictment charges the company and CFO Allen Weisselberg with scheming to defraud, tax fraud and falsifying records. Mr Weisselberg also received an additional grand larceny charge, with prosecutors claiming that he used his position to avoid paying taxes on more than $1.7m in income.

The case is being heard in state Supreme Court, New York’s highest trial court.