Trump news – live: Trump in mob photo scandal as Georgia judge weighs whether to release grand jury report

Trump news – live: Trump in mob photo scandal as Georgia judge weighs whether to release grand jury report

A judge in Georgia is set to hear arguments on Tuesday over the public release of a grand jury report following an eight-month probe into Donald Trump’s attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 election in that state.

The panel heard testimony and evidence about the abuse and harassment of election workers, a fake elector scheme, and Mr Trump’s infamous phone call to election officials to “find” enough votes for his victory.

Meanwhile, Mr Trump – who appears ready to ditch his Truth Social posting regimen and return to Twitter as he seeks the 2024 Republican nomination for president – is facing questions after posing for a photograph and flashing “thumbs up” with a notorious Philadelphia mob boss at his Trump International Golf Club West Palm Beach earlier this month.

Joey “Skinny Joe” Merlino was imprisoned for nearly 12 years after he was convicted in 2001 of racketeering charges including extortion, bookmaking and receiving stolen property.

And it comes as four members of the far-right, anti-government militia group the Oath Keepers have been found guilty of seditious conspiracy in relation to the Jan 6 insurrection at the Capitol.

Key points

Trump campaign denies he knew convicted mob boss he posed with in photo

08:30 , Maroosha Muzaffar

Less than three months after he was seen dining with antisemitic rapper Kanye West and notorious white nationalist Nick Fuentes, former president Donald Trump has been photographed with a convicted mob boss who spent more than a decade in prison on racketeering charges.

On Monday, the Philadelphia Inquirer published a photograph it obtained of Mr Trump, clad in dark pants, a white golf shirt and his signature “Make America Great Again” headgear, standing between two men at his Florida golf club.

Read the full story by Andrew Feinberg here:

Trump campaign denies he knew convicted mob boss he posed with in photo

‘Trump thinks Politico journalists should be jailed. This should be a turning point'

10:00 , Alex Woodward

Clayton Weimers with Reporters Without Borders writes in The Independent that it is “difficult to overstate the danger to democracy” presented by Trump’s rhetoric, which does not constitute mere “idle talk”:

At a time when it matters more than ever for democracies such as the US to lead by example, Trump’s words and actions send the signal that the values of free expression don’t matter. Would-be strongmen around the world — from former Philippines president Duterte to recently ousted Bolsanaro in Brazil — have taken their cues from Trump.

Trump declared winner of golf tournament at his club – despite missing first day

09:58 , Maroosha Muzaffar

Golf-loving former US president Donald Trump has claimed another victory in a competitive tournament at one of his clubs in Florida – despite missing the first day of the weekend-long tournament.

He announced his win in the Senior Club Championship at Trump International Golf Club in Palm Beach, Florida on his social media platform Truth Social.

Mr Trump’s announcement, however, may have come as a surprise to those following his movements this weekend, since a video appeared online of him delivering a eulogy at the funeral of the North Carolina vlogger Diamond on Saturday.

Read the full story here:

Trump declared winner of golf tournament at his club – despite missing first day

Judge to hold hearing over Georgia special grand jury report

09:30 , Maroosha Muzaffar

A judge is set to hear arguments Tuesday on whether to release a report by a special grand jury tasked with investigating whether then-President Donald Trump and his allies broke any laws as they sought to overturn his narrow 2020 election loss in Georgia.

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney will hear arguments from the district attorney’s office, news outlets and potentially other parties before making a decision on the release of the report. The special grand jury, whose work was overseen by McBurney, recommended that the report be made public.

Read the full story here:

Judge to hold hearing over Georgia special grand jury report

ICYMI: White House says Trump call to jail Supreme Court leak journalists is an ‘insult to the rule of law’

09:00 , Alex Woodward

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told The Independent during a briefing last week that President Biden “believes the freedom of press is part of the bedrock of American democracy”.

“That is something that he truly believes and that we should continue to fight for,” Ms Jean-Pierre told The Independent when asked about Trump’s persistent threats to jail reporters who refuse to five up their sources of the Roe v Wade “leak”.

“Calling for egregious abuses of power in order to suppress the constitutional rights of reporters is an insult. It is a complete insult to the rule of law and undermines fundamental American values and traditions,” she added.

White House forcefully condemns Trump’s ‘complete insult to the rule of law’

‘Amid Trump’s threats, the US needs to do more to protect journalists'

08:00 , Alex Woodward

Writing for The Independent’s Voices, Chris Blackhurst says:

What is worrying here is that Trump mused about putting reporters in jail while he was president, that he discussed with his advisors how to bypass the First Amendment, and his reign coincided with record arrests of journalists and numerous other attempts to curb their freedom. And it ended with the Capitol Hill insurrection and rioters smashing camera equipment and writing “Murder the Media” on the democratic citadel itself.

If Trump was a lone has-been I would not be so bothered. But he’s not, not yet. He may come again and besides he still has his support. What is more, in launching his anti-press diatribes, he is choosing to do so on the highly-charged ground of Roe v Wade. If anything played into the hands of Trump, the conspirator-general, it is that one.

Four members of the Oath Keepers found guilty of seditious conspiracy for roles in Jan 6 attack

07:30 , Maroosha Muzaffar

Four members of the far-right, anti-government militia group the Oath Keepers have been found guilty of seditious conspiracy.

The verdict comes nearly two months after the group’s founder was convicted of the same crime in the wake of the attack on the US Capitol.

A jury agreed that defendants Joseph Hackett, Roberto Minuta, David Moerschel and Edward Vallejo – led by group leader Stewart Rhodes – plotted to violently stop the certification of Joe Biden’s election on 6 January 2021 and joined a mob fuelled by Donald Trump’s persistent lie that the election was stolen from him.

All four defendants were also found guilty on 23 January of conspiracy to obstruct Congress and conspiracy to destroy federal property.

Read the full story by Alex Woodward here:

Four members of the Oath Keepers found guilty of seditious conspiracy

ICYMI: Trump schedules appearance in New Hampshire to kick off 2024 campaign before South Carolina event

07:00 , Alex Woodward

Trump will head to early-primary state New Hampshire for his first appearance on the 2024 campaign trial, just hours before his planned stop in South Carolina on Saturday.

The former president will deliver remarks to the New Hampshire GOP.

“We are excited to welcome President Trump back to the Granite State to be the keynote speaker at our 2023 Annual Meeting,” according to a statement from New Hampshire Republican Chairman Stephen Stepanek. “President Trump has long been a strong defender of New Hampshire’s First in the Nation Primary Status and we are excited that he will join us to deliver remarks to our Members.”

The state’s three-term Republican governor, Chris Sununu, is a vocal Trump critic who allegedly once called the former president “f****** crazy” and has urged his party to find another candidate in 2024.

“I don’t think he can win in November of ‘24,” he said last month. “He could be the nominee. But I do not believe, and I think most people would agree, he’s just going to ... be able to close the deal.”

Judge to hold hearing over Georgia special grand jury report

06:30 , Maroosha Muzaffar

A judge is set to hear arguments Tuesday on whether to release a report by a special grand jury tasked with investigating whether then-President Donald Trump and his allies broke any laws as they sought to overturn his narrow 2020 election loss in Georgia.

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney will hear arguments from the district attorney’s office, news outlets and potentially other parties before making a decision on the release of the report. The special grand jury, whose work was overseen by McBurney, recommended that the report be made public.

Read the full story by Kate Brumback here:

Judge to hold hearing over Georgia special grand jury report

ICYMI: Four members of the Oath Keepers found guilty of seditious conspiracy for roles in Jan 6 attack

06:00 , Maroosha Muzaffar

Four members of the far-right, anti-government militia group the Oath Keepers have been found guilty of seditious conspiracy.

The verdict comes nearly two months after the group’s founder was convicted of the same crime in the wake of the attack on the US Capitol.

A jury agreed that defendants Joseph Hackett, Roberto Minuta, David Moerschel and Edward Vallejo – led by group leader Stewart Rhodes – plotted to violently stop the certification of Joe Biden’s election on 6 January 2021 and joined a mob fuelled by Donald Trump’s persistent lie that the election was stolen from him.

All four defendants were also found guilty on 23 January of conspiracy to obstruct Congress and conspiracy to destroy federal property.

Read the full story by Alex Woodward here:

Four members of the Oath Keepers found guilty of seditious conspiracy

Donald Trump may need to wait months for Twitter return due to Truth Social contract

05:30 , Maroosha Muzaffar

Donald Trump will return to Twitter after an exclusivity contract with his own Truth Social platform expires in June, according to a report.

The former US President is currently subject to a “social media exclusivity” clause that requires him to post “any and all social media communications” to Truth Social for six hours before posting to rival platforms, recently uncovered filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) reveal.

Read the full story here:

Donald Trump’s Truth Social contract means he needs to wait months for Twitter return

Key Georgia special grand jury hearing will discuss Trump probe. What’s at stake?

05:12 , Maroosha Muzaffar

The result of a court hearing in Atlanta could signal the start of a process that may lead to former president Donald Trump or his allies facing criminal charges for trying to overturn Joe Biden’s 2020 election win in Georgia.

The Tuesday morning hearing, scheduled to take place at the Fulton County courthouse, is when a Georgia judge will hear arguments on whether to release a report compiled by a special grand jury investigating whether then-President Donald Trump and his allies illegally tried to overturn his defeat in the 2020 election in Georgia.

Kate Brumback and Andrew Feinberg answer some of the key questions that remain:

Key Georgia special grand jury hearing will discuss Trump probe. What’s at stake?

Lawsuits, jail threats and ‘enemy of the people’: Donald Trump’s endless war on the media

05:00 , Alex Woodward

Following the “leak” of a draft of what became the US Supreme Court’s ruling to strike down Roe v Wade, Trump has repeatedly demanded that the journalist and outlet that published the draft be thrown in jail if they don’t reveal their source, accelerating the former president’s public war on the media.

From threatening journalists with prison time, to defending MBS and suing media outlets in an admitted attempt to strike down Supreme Court protections of First Amendment safeguards, here’s a brief history of Trump’s latest attacks:

Lawsuits, jail threats and ‘enemy of the people’: Donald Trump’s war on the media

Four members of the Oath Keepers found guilty of seditious conspiracy for roles in Jan 6 attack

04:45 , Maroosha Muzaffar

Four members of the far-right, anti-government militia group the Oath Keepers have been found guilty of seditious conspiracy.

The verdict comes nearly two months after the group’s founder was convicted of the same crime in the wake of the attack on the US Capitol.

A jury agreed that defendants Joseph Hackett, Roberto Minuta, David Moerschel and Edward Vallejo – led by group leader Stewart Rhodes – plotted to violently stop the certification of Joe Biden’s election on 6 January 2021 and joined a mob fuelled by Donald Trump’s persistent lie that the election was stolen from him.

All four defendants were also found guilty on 23 January of conspiracy to obstruct Congress and conspiracy to destroy federal property.

Read the full story by Alex Woodward here:

Four members of the Oath Keepers found guilty of seditious conspiracy

Capitol rioter who put his feet on Pelosi’s desk found guilty

04:37 , Maroosha Muzaffar

Roughly two years after his brush with viral fame, the man who boasted about writing a “nasty note” for Nancy Pelosi after kicking back in her chair and putting his workboot on her desk has been found guilty on all eight charges against him.

Richard “Bigo” Barnett testified in his own defense last week in one of the highest-profile trials connected to the attack on the US Capitol on 6 January 2021. It took a jury only two hours to deliver a verdict.

Charges include obstruction of an official proceeding, theft of government property, and entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon, after he walked the halls of Congress with a 950,000-volt stun-gun walking staff.

Read the full story by Alex Woodward here:

Capitol rioter who put his feet on Pelosi’s desk found guilty

Watch: ‘The imposter in Congress'

04:00 , Alex Woodward

George Santos made political waves by flipping New York’s 3rd congressional district seat in the November midterms, a once reliable Democratic seat. It wasn’t until after his election that his resume and a bulk of his life experiences appeared to by totally made-up, and the congressman has refused to stand aside as the controversy mounts.

The Independent’s Richard Hall visited Long Island to track down the real George Santos.

Kevin McCarthy’s gushing statement about Marjorie Taylor Greene revealed

03:00 , Alex Woodward

Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy reportedly said that he would never abandon far-right US Rep Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia after she whipped votes to help him gain the speakership earlier this month, according to The New York Times.

Ms Greene stood beside Mr McCarthy throughout the marathon 15 votes to finally clinch the gavel even as some of her fellow conservatives and members of the House Freedom Caucus such as Representatives Lauren Boebert of Colorado, Bob Good of Virginia and Matt Gaetz of Florida opposed him.

Read what Mr McCarthy reportedly told those closest to him about her relationship with the Congresswoman Greene:

McCarthy’s gushing statement about Marjorie Taylor Greene revealed

ICYMI: Trump may need to wait months for Twitter return due to Truth Social contract

02:00 , Alex Woodward

Trump is subject to a “social media exclusivity” clause that requires him to post “any and all social media communications” to his Truth Social account for six hours before posting to rival platforms, recently uncovered filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission reveal.

The six-month rolling contract runs out in June and Trump does not plan to renew it, sources told Rolling Stone, as he plans to use all channels available for his 2024 presidential campaign.

From The Independent’s Tech desk:

Donald Trump’s Truth Social contract means he needs to wait months for Twitter return

ICYMI: Trump campaign denies he knew convicted mob boss he posed with in photo

01:00 , Alex Woodward

On Monday, The Philadelphia Inquirer published a photograph it obtained of the former president, clad in dark pants, a white golf shirt and his signature “Make America Great Again” headgear, standing between two men at his Florida golf club.

One of those men appears to be Joseph Merlino, a convicted felon who ran the Philadelphia mob in the 1990s, when Mr Trump was best known as a New York real estate developer and Atlantic City, New Jersey casino proprietor.

Trump campaign denies he knew convicted mob boss he posed with in photo

Special report: In George Santos’s district, setting of The Great Gatsby, cries of ‘imposter’ abound

00:00 , Alex Woodward

George Santos rose to power by courting the same Long Island elite that Jay Gatsby fooled in F Scott Fitzgerald’s novel, but the residents he represents see him as a Great American Nightmare, The Independent’s Richard Hall reports from New York.

In George Santos’s district, setting of The Great Gatsby, cries of ‘imposter’ abound

ICYMI: Four more Oath Keepers convicted of seditious conspiracy for Jan 6 attack

Monday 23 January 2023 23:00 , Alex Woodward

Within a year, 10 people have been convicted of seditious conspiracy for their roles in the attack on the US Capitol on 6 January, 2021 – an otherwise rare charge in US history that was initially aimed at prosecuting secessionists in slaveholding states.

On Monday, four more members of the far-right self-appointed militia group the Oath Keepers were found guilty of seditious conspiracy for launching their attack in the halls of Congress, fuelled by Trump’s bogus claims of election fraud.

Their conviction follows the conviction of their leader, Stewart Rhodes, just weeks earlier for the same crime.

They join one other Oath Keepers member convicted of the treason-related charge and three other members who pleaded guilty to the charge in the hopes of receiving a lighter sentence.

Four members of the Oath Keepers found guilty of seditious conspiracy

Garland defends Justice Department handling of Trump and Biden probes

Monday 23 January 2023 22:15 , Alex Woodward

US Attorney General Merrick Garland has defended the Justice Department’s response as investigators determine how classified materials ended up in Joe Biden’s home and offices, with special counsels leading probes into both the Biden case and Trump’s mishandling of documents discovered at Mar-a-Lago that he fought federal agencies from obtaining.

“We do not have different rules for Democrats or Republicans, different rules for the powerful or the powerless, different rules for the rich and for the poor,” Mr Garland said on Monday.

“We apply the facts, and the law in each case in a neutral, non-partisan manner,” he added. “That is what we always do.”

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Will Trump face criminal charges for trying to overturn election results in Georgia?

Monday 23 January 2023 22:30 , Alex Woodward

That’s the question on everyone’s minds as a judge in Georgia prepares to hear arguments about the release of a grand jury’s report, eight months in the making, about the former president’s efforts, with his allies, to subvert the outcome of the 2020 presidential election in the state.

After months of private testimony from Trumpworld figures, the release of the report could trigger a decision from the Fulton County district attorney’s office to seek criminal charges against Trump and others invovled with the scheme, which was central to the House select committee’s investigation in the January 6 attack.

A statement from Trump’s attorneys on Monday said they “have never been a part of this process”.

“The grand jury compelled the testimony of dozens of other, often high-ranking, officials during the investigation, but never found it important to speak with the President,” they added. “He was never subpoenaed nor asked to come in voluntarily by this grand jury or anyone in the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office. Therefore, we can assume that the grand jury did their job and looked at the facts and the law, as we have, and concluded there were no violations of the law by President Trump.”

A group of media outlets have petitioned the court for the public release of the grand jury’s report.

If her office decides to seek charges against Trump, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis would have to take the case to a separate grand jury to present them.

Garland ‘grateful’ for Justice Department team for ‘outsanding work’ leading to Oath Keepers conviction

Monday 23 January 2023 22:00 , Alex Woodward

US Attorney General Merrick Garland thanked members of the Justice Department team that worked on the seditious conspiracy cases against members of the far-right Oath Keepers militia.

“I’m grateful to the prosecutors, agents and staff for their oustanding work in connection with this manner,” he said on Monday.

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Oath Keepers attorney says Trump and his allies are ‘morally responsible’ for seditious conspiracy verdict

Monday 23 January 2023 21:45 , Alex Woodward

After a jury found four members of the far-right group the Oath Keepers guilty of sedition-related charges for their roles organising an attack on the US Capitol, a defense attorney for one of the members said Trump and his allies are “morally responsible” for advancing the bogus election fraud claims that fuelled the attack.

Scott Weinberg, an attorney for David Moerschel, said after today’s verdict that the former president and his allies pushed stolen election “nonsense” in advance of the January 6 attack.

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Just in: Trump to give keynote address at New Hampshire GOP meeting before South Carolina campaign stop

Monday 23 January 2023 20:58 , Alex Woodward

Trump will head to early-primary state New Hampshire for his surprise first appearance on the 2024 campaign trial, just hours before his planned stop in South Carolina on Saturday.

The former president will deliver remarks to the New Hampshire GOP.

“We are excited to welcome President Trump back to the Granite State to be the keynote speaker at our 2023 Annual Meeting,” according to a statement from New Hampshire Republican Chairman Stephen Stepanek. “President Trump has long been a strong defender of New Hampshire’s First in the Nation Primary Status and we are excited that he will join us to deliver remarks to our Members.”

The state’s three-term Republican governor, Chris Sununu, is a vocal Trump critic who allegedly once called the former president “f****** crazy” and has urged his party to find another candidate in 2024.

“I don’t think he can win in November of ‘24,” he said last month. “He could be the nominee. But I do not believe, and I think most people would agree, he’s just going to ... be able to close the deal.”

Kevin McCarthy’s gushing statement about Marjorie Taylor Greene revealed: ‘I’ll never leave that woman’

Monday 23 January 2023 20:07 , Alex Woodward

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy reportedly said that he would never abandon far-right congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene after she whipped votes to help him gain the speakership earlier this month, according to The New York Times.

Ms Greene stood beside Mr McCarthy throughout the marathon 15 votes to finally clinch the gavel even as some of her fellow conservatives and members of the House Freedom Caucus such as Representatives Lauren Boebert of Colorado, Bob Good of Virginia and Matt Gaetz of Florida opposed him.

Mr McCarthy – wrestling for control of his caucus with a slim majority and powerful far-right flank – reportedly expressed his gratitude to a friend: “I will never leave that woman.”

McCarthy’s gushing statement about Marjorie Taylor Greene revealed

Breaking: Four members of the Oath Keepers found guilty of seditious conspiracy for roles in Jan 6 attack

Monday 23 January 2023 19:40 , Alex Woodward

Four members of the far-right anti-government militia group the Oath Keepers have been found guilty of seditious conspiracy, nearly two months after their leader and the group’s founder was convicted of the same crime in the wake of the attack on the US Capitol.

A jury agreed that defendants Joseph Hackett, Roberto Minuta, David Moerschel and Edward Vallejo – led by group leader Stewart Rhodes – plotted to violently stop the certification of Joe Biden’s election on 6 January, 2021 and joined a mob fuelled by Donald Trump’s persistent lie that the election was stolen from him.

All four defendants were also found guilty on 23 January of conspiracy to obstruct Congress and conspiracy to destroy federal property.

Four members of the Oath Keepers found guilty of seditious conspiracy

Just in: Verdict reached in second Oath Keepers seditious conspiracy trial

Monday 23 January 2023 19:27 , Alex Woodward

A jury has reached a verdict in a second trial on seditious conspiracy for members of the far-right anti-government militia group the Oath Keepers for their role in the January 6 riots.

The verdict is coming two months after their leader and the group’s founder was convicted of the same crime in the wake of the attack on the US Capitol.

Stay tuned.

‘Ringleader’ GOP candidate accused of orchestrating shooting at Democratic officials’ homes to stay in jail as he awaits trial

Monday 23 January 2023 18:54 , Alex Woodward

Prosecutors successfully argued to keep a former Republican candidate for New Mexico’s state legislature – accused of conspiring to shoot at the homes of Democratic officials in the state – behind bars as he awaits trial.

At a hearing on 23 January, prosecutors said all Solomon Pena needs to pose a threat is a phone, describing him as a “ringleader” in the alleged conspiracy. A New Mexico judge ordered Mr Pena to remain in jail ahead of a hearing.

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“Defendant is trying to get them to do it when the [targets] are home, up walking around ... to injure them,” according to the prosecution.

Mr Pena believes in the widespread, baseless narrative promoted by Trump and his allies that the 2020 election was corrupted by fraud, a bogus claim that continues to fuel GOP candidates and their supporters and has not shown any signs of slowing despite its links to violent attacks.

More about Mr Pena’s case from The Independent’s Bevan Hurley:

‘Maga king’ who attended Jan 6 rally behind shootings of political rivals, police say

Trump campaign denies he knows convicted mob boss who posed with him in golf club photo

Monday 23 January 2023 18:30 , Alex Woodward

Less than three months after he was seen dining with antisemitic rapper Kanye West and notorious white nationalist Nick Fuentes, Trump has been photographed with a convicted mob boss who spent more than a decade in prison on racketeering charges.

On Monday, The Philadelphia Inquirer published a photograph it obtained of the former president with his signature “Make America Great Again” hat while standing between two men at his Florida golf club – including Joseph Merlino, a convicted felon who ran the Philadelphia mob in the 1990s.

Trump campaign denies he knew convicted mob boss he posed with in photo

Trump fires at McConnell over debt ceiling fight: ‘stone cold CROOK’

Monday 23 January 2023 17:46 , Alex Woodward

On his Truth Social account, Trump called Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell either “the WORST negotiator” in politics or a “stone cold CROOK” after the Republican senator insisted that the US would not default on its debt and expected negotiations with the Biden administration to avert a disaster.

“There can be no other explanation as to why he has become such a rubber stamp for the Democrats. Republicans, use Debt Ceiling to get it all back!” Trump said on Monday.

House Republicans, meanwhile, are pushing the White House to agree to major spending cuts in exchange for raising the debt ceiling after GOP lawmakers voted to raise the debt ceiling three times during the Trump administration.

“In the end, I think the important thing to remember is that America must never default on its debt. It never has, and it never will,” Mr McConnell told reporters last week. “We’ll end up in some kind of negotiation with the administration over what the circumstances or conditions under which the debt ceiling be raised.”

What’s at stake in the Georgia grand jury investigation?

Monday 23 January 2023 17:20 , Alex Woodward

A special grand jury investigating whether Trump and his allies illegally tried to overturn his defeat in the 2020 election in Georgia has wrapped up its work. But key questions remain, as a judge hears arguments about opening up the grand jury’s findings:

Key Georgia special grand jury hearing will discuss Trump probe. What’s at stake?

Breaking: Capitol rioter who put his feet on Pelosi’s desk found guilty

Monday 23 January 2023 17:07 , Alex Woodward

Roughly two years after his brush with viral fame, the man who boasted about writing a “nasty note” for Nancy Pelosi after kicking back in her chair and putting his workboot on her desk has been found guilty on all eight charges against him.

Richard “Bigo” Barnett testified in his own defense last week in one of the highest-profile trials connected to the attack on the US Capitol on 6 January, 2021. It took a jury only two hours to deliver a verdict.

Capitol rioter who put his feet on Pelosi’s desk found guilty

ICYMI: Trump turns memorial for vlogger Diamond into campaign speech - and complains the service wasn’t 15 minutes

Monday 23 January 2023 15:45 , Alex Woodward

The former president struggled to meet the mood of a memorial service for Ineitha Lynnette Hardaway, better known as “Diamond” of the pro-Trump duo Diamond and Silk, The Independent;s John Bowden reports.

Speaking Saturday at the gathering in North Carolina, Trump sounded more like a candidate delivering a stump speech than an ex-president memorialising a valued friend or political ally.

At one point, he even quipped that the service had gone on much longer than the “15 minutes” he was promised to deliver his remarks and leave.

Trump turns memorial for vlogger Diamond into rally speech - and gripes about length

A brief history of Donald Trump’s war on the media

Monday 23 January 2023 15:25 , Alex Woodward

Following the “leak” of a draft of what became the US Supreme Court’s ruling to strike down Roe v Wade, Mr Trump has repeatedly demanded that the journalist and outlet that published the draft be thrown in jail if they don’t reveal their source, accelerating the former president’s public war on the media.

“It won’t take long before the name of this slime is revealed,” he said in a statement on his Truth Social account on 19 January.

It follows a pattern of attempts to undermine and vilify a press on which he once relied to develop his public persona as a self-made model of success that he used to propel himself to the White House.

Now facing a wave of criminal investigations, convictions against his company and credible accusations of misconduct in his second bid for the presidency, the former president is threatening to imprison journalists and using lawsuits to target First Amendment protections:

Lawsuits, jail threats and ‘enemy of the people’: Donald Trump’s war on the media