Trump news - live: FBI chief breaks silence on Mar-a-Lago raid as Trump pleads fifth and hunts for informant

·61-min read

As the fallout from the FBI’s raid on his residence at Mar-a-Lago continues with rumours of a Trumpworld informant tipping off authorities, Donald Trump today pleaded the fifth amendment in his sworn deposition to the long-running New York State probe into his real estate dealings.

Mr Trump has repeatedly condemned the probe as a politically motivated “witch hunt”. His children Ivanka and Donald Jr both recently gave depositions in the civil investigation after months fighting against subpoenas for their testimony.

Meanwhile, reports have revealed that before its raid on Monday, the FBI had already obtained surveillance tapes from Mar-a-Lago via a subpoena to the Trump Organization. Mr Trump and some on his legal team are now suggesting that the bureau may have planted evidence during its search, but they have provided no evidence to support their claims. FBI Director Christopher Wray broke his silence on the search of the former president’s Palm Beach residence on Wednesday but said it was not something he could talk about.

Mr Trump has also accused Joe Biden of knowing in advance that his Florida residence estate was going to be raided, but the White House dismissed the claim as false.

Key Points

Christopher Wray makes first public response to FBI search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home

09:00 , Oliver O'Connell

FBI Director Christopher Wray spoke publicly on Wednesday afternoon for the first time about his bureau’s search of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence. He couldn’t offer much.

Abe Asher reports.

FBI director Wray makes first public comment on search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home

FBI director calls online threats against federal agents and DOJ 'deplorable'

08:45 , Maroosha Muzaffar

FBI director Christopher Wray called threats circulating online against federal agents and the Justice Department “deplorable and dangerous.”

“I’m always concerned about threats to law enforcement,” Mr Wray said. “Violence against law enforcement is not the answer, no matter who you’re upset with.”

Mr Wray spoke on Wednesday afternoon for the first time about the FBI’s search of former president Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence – though he declined to go into details.

“As I’m sure you can appreciate, that’s not something I can talk about,” Mr Wray told reporters in Omaha, Nebraska.

‘We owe you big’: Jon Stewart receives standing ovation at PACT Act signing

08:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Comedian and activist Jon Stewart received a standing ovation as President Joe Biden signed into law the PACT Act, which will provide life-saving care to veterans who have been exposed to burn pits.

Mr Biden personally thanked Mr Stewart for his advocacy on the issue during Wednesday’s White House signing, saying: “What you have done, Jon, matters, and you know it does. You should know it really, really matters.

“You refused to let anybody forget, you refused to let them forget, and we owe you big man, we owe you big.”

Jon Stewart receives standing ovation at PACT Act signing

Informant reportedly told FBI about classified docs at Mar-a-Lago

07:30 , Oliver O'Connell

An insider with knowledge of what government records former president Donald Trump still possessed more than 18 months after he left the White House reportedly tipped off FBI officials to a cache of classified documents at the ex-president’s Palm Beach, Florida home and office.

According to Newsweek, two “senior government officials” have said the Monday search of Mr Trump’s rooms at Mar-a-Lago — the mansion turned private club where he spends most of his year — came after a confidential FBI source provided agents with information on “what classified documents [Mr Trump] was still hiding and ... the location of those documents”.

The officials also said the search of the ex-president’s property was based on concerns that Mr Trump was unlawfully holding on to classified national defence information.

Andrew Feinberg reports.

Trumpworld informant reportedly told FBI about classified docs at Mar-a-Lago

Video juxtaposes Fox News coverage of Clinton’s email scandal with footage of Trump raid

06:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Fox News has not been enamoured of the FBI’s raid on Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence as the former president’s legal troubles rapidly mount.

Fox News hosts and other leading figures in the Republican Party and conservative movement have decried the FBI’s raid on Mr Trump’s residence as an politically motivated overreach of government power. But as a Daily Show video juxtaposing Fox News commentary on the FBI investigation of the Hillary Clinton’s email scandal with footage of Mr Trump shows, the network’s hosts have not always been so opposed to FBI intervention.

Abe Asher reports.

Mashup video juxtaposes Fox News coverage of Clinton email scandal, Trump raid

Meet the Florida blogger who broke the Trump Mar-a-Lago raid

06:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Just after 6.30pm on Monday night, FloridaPolitics.com publisher Peter Schorsch landed the biggest news scoop of the year.

Bevan Hurley spoke to reporter Peter Schorsch on how he broke the biggest political story of the summer.

Meet the Florida blogger who broke the Trump Mar-a-Lago raid without even knowing it

Biden heads to South Carolina to begin summer vacation with family

05:15 , Oliver O'Connell

President Joe Biden left Washington on Wednesday to begin what is expected to be at least a seven-day vacation in South Carolina with members of his family.

Biden, accompanied by first lady Jill Biden, departed the White House by motorcade to Joint Base Andrews outside the capital, where Air Force One was on hand to take them to Charleston. The first couple was planning to be in Kiawah Island, noted for its private beach and golf resort, through Tuesday, according to Federal Aviation Administration advisories.

Biden begins summer vacation with family in South Carolina

Capitol rioter who posed in fake cell at CPAC says the left is trying to ‘criminalise his art’

04:30 , Oliver O'Connell

A conservative activist and convicted participant in the attack on the US Capitol is lashing out at liberals after receiving widespread mockery for his portrayal of the supposed suffering of his comrades at a right-wing gathering over the weekend.

Brandon Straka claimed in a tweet on Monday that elements of the media were trying to have him prosecuted after he appeared at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Dallas over the weekend where he participated in a bizarre piece of performance art portraying himself as an imprisoned January 6 rioter.

John Bowden has the story.

Rioter who posed in fake cell says the left is trying to ‘criminalise his art’

Trump accuses FBI of ‘planting’ evidence in Mar-a-Lago raid

03:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Former president Donald Trump has accused FBI agents of “planting” evidence during their search of his Mar-a-Lago residence, alleging that federal authorities would not let his legal team observe the activity.

“The FBI and others from the Federal Government would not let anyone, including my lawyers, be anywhere near the areas that were rummaged and otherwise looked at during the raid on Mar-a-Lago. Everyone was asked to leave the premises, they wanted to be left alone, without any witnesses to see what they were doing, taking or, hoopefully not, ‘planting.’ Why did they STRONGLY insist on having nobody watching them, everybody out? Obama and clinton were never ‘raided,’ despite big disputes!” Mr Trump said on his Truth Social platform.

Read more:

Trump baselessly suggests FBI ‘planted’ evidence during Mar-a-Lago search

Biden signs PACT Act providing care to veterans after burn pits exposure

03:00 , Oliver O'Connell

President Joe Biden has signed into law the PACT Act, which will provide life-saving care to veterans who have been exposed to burn pits.

In remarks at the White House, Mr Biden called it the “most significant law our nation has ever passed to help veterans who were exposed to toxic substances” and said: “I was gonna get this done come hell or higher water.”

Biden signs PACT Act providing life-saving care to veterans after burn pits exposure

Trump’s past comments on criminals pleading the Fifth resurface

02:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump and his allies are once again facing the consequences of their past actions after the former president announced that he would take the Fifth Amendment and refuse to testify when faced with the prospect of giving a deposition in his fraud case.

John Bowden reports.

Trump’s past comments on criminals pleading the Fifth come back to bite him

Trump invokes right against self-incrimination in deposition

01:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Former president Donald Trump on Wednesday declined to answer questions and invoked his right against self-incrimination during a deposition with investigators working for New York Attorney General Letitia James’ office.

“Under the advice of my counsel and for all of the above reasons, I declined to answer the questions under the rights and privileges afforded to every citizen under the United States Constitution,” Mr Trump said at the end of a lengthy, rambling statement filled with attacks on Ms James.

Trump says he invoked right against self-incrimination in New York AG deposition

PACT Act: Introducing Biden, veteran’s widow reflects on ‘emotional battle’ of burn pit illnesses

01:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Just over two years after her husband Sgt First Class Heath Robinson died from a rare form of lung cancer caused by exposure to toxic burn pits while deployed in Iraq, Danielle Robinson stood in the White House on Wednesday as landmark legislation to care for veterans in a similar condition was signed into law.

Veteran’s widow recalls ‘emotional battle’ of burn pit illnesses at bill signing

Trump calls New York AG ‘racist’ before pleading fifth in fraud probe deposition

Thursday 11 August 2022 00:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump called New York Attorney General Letitia James “racist” hours before announcing he had invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination during testimony in her office’s long-running probe into allegations of fraud relating to his real estate dealings.

As he departed New York City’s Trump Tower for the sworn deposition, the former president was photographed raising his fist in a show of defiance.

Minutes later he released a statement saying that he had refused to answer any questions under the Fifth Amendment.

Andrew Naughtie reports on the events of Wednesday morning in New York.

Trump calls New York AG ‘racist’ before pleading the fifth in fraud probe deposition

Washington state Republican who voted for impeachment concedes to Trump-backed challenger

Thursday 11 August 2022 00:00 , Oliver O'Connell

A Republican congresswoman who voted for Donald Trump’s impeachment has conceded a hard-fought primary battle to a challenger endorsed by the former president in Washington state.

“Ever since I was first elected to this seat I have done my very best to serve my home region and our country,” Jaime Herrera Beutler said in a statement released to the media on Tuesday afternoon.

“Though my campaign came up short this time, I’m proud of all we’ve accomplished together for the place where I was raised and still call home.”

Andrew Buncombe reports from Seattle.

Republican who voted for impeachment concedes to Trump-backed challenger

DoJ obtained Mar-a-Lago surveillance tapes after subpoenaing Trump Organization

Wednesday 10 August 2022 23:30 , Oliver O'Connell

The Department of Justice obtained security CCTV footage from inside Mar-a-Lago, the Palm Beach, Florida, mansion turned private club where former president Donald Trump maintains an office and residence, before requesting a search warrant for the ex-president’s home.

Andrew Feinberg has the story.

Justice Dept obtained Mar-a-Lago security tapes after subpoenaing Trump Organization

Has someone in Trump’s inner circle flipped?

Wednesday 10 August 2022 23:00 , Oliver O'Connell

With each passing day, it becomes harder for a casual observer to distinguish between the post-presidential life of Donald Trump and that of late-season Tony Soprano.

In the past week alone, Mr Trump’s home has been searched by the FBI as part of an investigationg into his handling of classified documents, he has pled the Fifth in a separate case into his business dealings in New York, and now, according to several reports, he is trying to flush out a rat in his orbit.

Read more from The Independent’s Richard Hall.

Trumpworld smells a rat. Has someone in his inner circle flipped?

Trump’s nightmare week continues as he pleads the Fifth and peddles conspiracy that FBI planted evidence

Wednesday 10 August 2022 22:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Former president Donald Trump on Wednesday declined to answer questions and invoked his right against self-incrimination during a deposition with investigators working for New York Attorney General Letitia James’ office.

“Under the advice of my counsel and for all of the above reasons, I declined to answer the questions under the rights and privileges afforded to every citizen under the United States Constitution,” Mr Trump said at the end of a lengthy, rambling statement filled with attacks on Ms James, who has been overseeing a long-running probe into whether Mr Trump’s eponymous real estate company violated New York tax laws.

Ms James was not the only target for Mr Trump today as he peddled a conspiracy theory that the FBI had planted evidence during its search of his Ma-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach.

Andrew Feinberg reports on the former president’s not-so-good week.

Trump pleads Fifth in tax probe, and accuses FBI of planting evidence

FBI director makes first public response to search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home

Wednesday 10 August 2022 22:02 , Oliver O'Connell

FBI Director Christopher Wray spoke publicly on Wednesday afternoon for the first time about his bureau’s search of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence.

He couldn’t offer much.

FBI director Wray makes first public comment on search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home

‘Dark Brandon’ rises

Wednesday 10 August 2022 21:49 , Oliver O'Connell

During a post-race interview with Nascar driver Brandon Brown in October 2021, newscaster Kellie Stavast believed the crowd behind him – clearly chanting “f*** Joe Biden” – was instead cheering him on with “let’s go, Brandon”.

“Let’s go, Brandon” or even just “Brandon” quickly became shorthand on the American right to broadcast a middle finger to the president, a rallying cry plastered on T-shirts, bumper stickers, yard signs and across the internet.

It was later adopted broadly to criticise the administration and express disappointment with a president critics perceived as woefully ill-equipped for reality.

Alex Woodward reports on how after a string of “good news” for the Biden agenda, White House officials elevated a meme from terminal online obscurity, reclaiming ironic images of a tired and gaffe-prone president cast as a demi-god-like figure.

‘Dark Brandon’ rises: Democrats and the White House lean into the meme

Utah paper reveals GOP senator’s ‘bussin, forreal forreal' Twitter account

Wednesday 10 August 2022 21:29 , Oliver O'Connell

A local newspaper revealed that Republican Senator Mike Lee of Utah holds an alternative Twitter account called “BasedMikeLee”, which his office called his “personal account”.

A source close to Mr Lee confirmed to The Salt Lake Tribune that he operates the Twitter account, which includes a number of snarky and snide comments...

Eric Garcia has the story.

Local paper reveals GOP senator’s ‘bussin’ secret Twitter account

FBI director speaks out on Mar-a-Lago raid

Wednesday 10 August 2022 21:09 , Oliver O'Connell

FBI Director Christopher Wray has spoken out for the first time since the bureay searched former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate.

Mr Wray, who was appointed by Mr Trump, told reporters in Omaha, Nebraska, that he couldn’t get into the details.

“Well, as I’m sure you can appreciate that’s not something I can talk about,” he said.

Fox News coverage of Hillary Clinton’s email scandal with footage of Trump raid juxtaposed in mash-up video

Wednesday 10 August 2022 20:50 , Oliver O'Connell

Fox News has not been enamoured of the FBI’s raid on Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence as the former president’s legal troubles rapidly mount.

Fox News hosts and other leading figures in the Republican Party and conservative movement have decried the FBI’s raid on Mr Trump’s residence as an politically motivated overreach of government power. But as a Daily Show video juxtaposing Fox News commentary on the FBI investigation of the Hillary Clinton’s email scandal with footage of Mr Trump shows, the network’s hosts have not always been so opposed to FBI intervention.

Abe Asher reports.

Mashup video juxtaposes Fox News coverage of Clinton email scandal, Trump raid

New poll shows Biden’s approval rating tick up to its highest level since June

Wednesday 10 August 2022 20:32 , Oliver O'Connell

President Joe Biden’s approval rating increased to its highest level since June, according to a new survey from Reuters/Ipsos that was completed on Tuesday.

Eric Garcia looks at the latest figures.

Joe Biden’s approval rating ticks up to its highest level since June in new poll

Jan 6 rioter who posed in fake cell at CPAC says the left is trying to ‘criminalise his art’

Wednesday 10 August 2022 20:17 , Oliver O'Connell

A conservative activist and convicted participant in the attack on the US Capitol is lashing out at liberals after receiving widespread mockery for his portrayal of the supposed suffering of his comrades at a right-wing gathering over the weekend.

Brandon Straka claimed in a tweet on Monday that elements of the media were trying to have him prosecuted after he appeared at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Dallas over the weekend where he participated in a bizarre piece of performance art portraying himself as an imprisoned January 6 rioter.

John Bowden has the story.

Rioter who posed in fake cell says the left is trying to ‘criminalise his art’

Eric Trump boasts of father’s record fundraising after FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago

Wednesday 10 August 2022 19:58 , Oliver O'Connell

Eric Trump has claimed that his father, former president Donald Trump, gas experienced a record wave of fundraising following the FBI raid on his Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida.

Mr Trump’s fundraising behemoth stirred to life on Monday evening as his home at Mar-a-Lago was raided by FBI agents and the former president found new ammo for his argument that the government and Democrats in the House and Senate are “persecuting” him.

“DonaldJTrump.com is shattering all fundraising records and I’m told has raised more money in the past 24 hours than ever before in recent history! The American people are pissed!” Eric Trump wrote on Twitter.

John Bowden reports.

Eric Trump boasts of record fundraising for ex-president after FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago

Trumpworld informant told FBI about classified docs at Mar-a-Lago, report says

Wednesday 10 August 2022 19:40 , Oliver O'Connell

An insider with knowledge of what government records former president Donald Trump still possessed more than 18 months after he left the White House reportedly tipped off FBI officials to a cache of classified documents at the ex-president’s Palm Beach, Florida home and office.

According to Newsweek, two “senior government officials” have said the Monday search of Mr Trump’s rooms at Mar-a-Lago — the mansion turned private club where he spends most of his year — came after a confidential FBI source provided agents with information on “what classified documents [Mr Trump] was still hiding and ... the location of those documents”.

Andrew Feinberg has the story.

Trumpworld informant reportedly told FBI about classified docs at Mar-a-Lago

ICYMI: Trump calls New York attorney general ‘racist’ before pleading fifth in fraud probe deposition

Wednesday 10 August 2022 19:22 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump called New York Attorney General Letitia James “racist” hours before announcing he had invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination during testimony in her office’s long-running probe into allegations of fraud relating to his real estate dealings.

As he departed New York City’s Trump Tower for the sworn deposition, the former president was photographed raising his fist in a show of defiance.

Minutes later he released a statement saying that he had refused to answer any questions under the Fifth Amendment.

Andrew Naughtie reports on this morning’s events.

Trump calls New York AG ‘racist’ before pleading the fifth in fraud probe deposition

DoJ obtained Mar-a-Lago surveillance tapes after subpoenaing Trump Organization

Wednesday 10 August 2022 19:10 , Oliver O'Connell

The Department of Justice obtained security CCTV footage from inside Mar-a-Lago, the Palm Beach, Florida, mansion turned private club where former president Donald Trump maintains an office and residence, before requesting a search warrant for the ex-president’s home.

According to multiple reports, federal investigators issued a subpoena for the CCTV footage to the Trump Organization — the ex-president’s eponymous real estate and hotel business — earlier this year after a meeting between DoJ representatives and Mr Trump’s attorneys at his Florida home.

Andrew Feinberg has the story.

Justice Dept obtained Mar-a-Lago security tapes after subpoenaing Trump Organization

Report says Mar-a-Lago raid based on info from FBI informant

Wednesday 10 August 2022 18:58 , Oliver O'Connell

Newsweek reports:

The raid on Mar-a-Lago was based largely on information from an FBI confidential human source, one who was able to identify what classified documents former President Trump was still hiding and even the location of those documents, two senior government officials told Newsweek.

The officials, who have direct knowledge of the FBI’s deliberations and were granted anonymity in order to discuss sensitive matters, said the raid of Donald Trump‘s Florida residence was deliberately timed to occur when the former president was away.

The publication further states that this was timed not just to avoid any attempt to thwart the raid, but also to stop any photo opportunities or grandstanding by the former president, according to one of the sources, a 30-year veteran of the FBI.

Both senior government officials say the raid was scheduled with no political motive, the FBI solely intent on recovering highly classified documents that were illegally removed from the White House.

Preparations began weeks ago.

 (Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)
(Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Washington state Republican who voted for impeachment concedes to Trump-backed challenger

Wednesday 10 August 2022 18:50 , Oliver O'Connell

A Republican congresswoman who voted for Donald Trump’s impeachment has conceded a hard-fought primary battle to a challenger endorsed by the former president in Washington state.

“Ever since I was first elected to this seat I have done my very best to serve my home region and our country,” Jaime Herrera Beutler said in a statement released to the media on Tuesday afternoon.

Andrew Buncombe reports.

Republican who voted for impeachment concedes to Trump-backed challenger

Report says FBI searched Melania Trump’s wardrobe during Mar-a-Lago raid

Wednesday 10 August 2022 18:30 , Oliver O'Connell

FBI agents who searched former president Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida on Monday reportedly also combed through his wife Melania Trump’s wardrobe.

Agents had a search warrant that focused solely on presidential records and evidence of classified information being kept at the former president’s plush residence in Palm Beach, Florida, according to the New York Post.

Sravasti Dasgupta reports.

FBI searched Melania Trump’s wardrobe during Mar-a-Lago raid, report says

Iranian man who plotted to kill former Trump advisor John Bolton, charged by DoJ

Wednesday 10 August 2022 18:12 , Oliver O'Connell

A member of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps has been charged by the US Department of Justice with an alleged plan to assassinate former Trump National Security Advisor John Bolton.

Shahram Poursafi, 45, stands accused of trying to pay $300,000 to others for them to kill Mr Bolton either in Washington, DC or in Maryland, the Justice Department (DOJ) said.

Mr Poursafi is still at large overseas, DOJ noted.

Gustaf Kilander reports.

DOJ charges Iranian man who plotted to kill former Trump advisor John Bolton

Lincoln Project jumps on Mar-a-Lago raid

Wednesday 10 August 2022 17:59 , Oliver O'Connell

The Lincoln Project had its heyday in the earlier phase of the 2020 election, pumping out caustic ads to trigger Donald Trump’s anger and raise money from his critics. Since then, its star has faded – but its rapid-response output continues, and its new clip riffing on the Mar-a-Lago raid features the same mocking female voiceover heard in previous ads.

Trump’s past comments on criminals pleading the Fifth resurface

Wednesday 10 August 2022 17:47 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump and his allies are once again facing the consequences of their past actions after the former president announced that he would take the Fifth Amendment and refuse to testify when faced with the prospect of giving a deposition in his fraud case.

The Fifth Amendment protects Americans against self-incrimination or being forced to admit one’s supposed guilt. It also protects persons from being forced to serve as a witness against another person. Generally, its use does not imply definite criminality.

But Mr Trump’s past statements on the use of that constitutional right by allies of his political opponents have left him open to criticism on the issue as both he and his close associates, like former spokesman Sean Spicer, have implied or said outright that the Fifth Amendment is only used by criminals.

John Bowden takes a look at their past comments.

Trump’s past comments on criminals pleading the Fifth come back to bite him

Judge rejects Giuliani’s excuse for missing Georgia grand jury appearance

Wednesday 10 August 2022 17:30 , Andrew Naughtie

Rudy Giuliani has been ordered to appear in person before a Georgia grand jury after claiming he was too sick to fly. The jury is investigating whether Donald Trump illegally influenced the 2020 election.

Judge Robert McBurney of Fulton County Superior Court, who set a tentative date of 17 August for Mr Giuliani to testify, told Mr Giuliani he should explore other options to travel to Atlanta from New York.

“Mr Giuliani is not cleared for air travel, A-I-R,” Mr McBurney said during a hearing on Tuesday, according to the Times.

“John Madden drove all over the country in his big bus, from stadium to stadium. So one thing we need to explore is whether Mr Giuliani could get here without jeopardising his recovery and his health. On a train, on a bus or Uber, or whatever it would be. New York is not close to Atlanta, but it’s not traveling from Fairbanks.”

Bevan Hurley reports:

Judge tells Rudy Giuliani to ‘get an Uber’ after claim he’s too sick to fly to court

Spike in death threats to DOJ and FBI chiefs

Wednesday 10 August 2022 17:10 , Andrew Naughtie

Fox News – whose commentators are hammering home the notion that the FBI’s raid on Mar-a-Lago is akin to the behaviour of a dictatorship – is reporting that Attorney General Merrick Garland, FBI Director Christopher Wray, and many FBI agents are experiencing an uptick in death threats against them via social media.

According to the network’s report, discussions are underway to dial up the armed security that already protects Mr Garland and Mr Wray.

"I’ve never been a fan of overusing impeachment, but...”

Wednesday 10 August 2022 16:50 , Andrew Naughtie

Idiosyncratic Republican Senator Rand Paul has called for the impeachment of Merrick Garland over the FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago, musing on Fox News that while he is wary of overusing the legal device to investigate federal officeholders, the attorney general’s supposed conduct may be a bridge too far.

It is not clear what part, if any, Mr Garland had in approving the search.

Trump on pleading the fifth

Wednesday 10 August 2022 16:29 , Andrew Naughtie

Donald Trump famously once asked, “If you’re innocent, why are you taking the fifth amendment?” – but having done so today when deposed by New York investigators, he claims to have experienced something of an epiphany. Here’s a statement he put out via his taxpayer-funded office:

Now I know the answer to that question. When your family, your company, and all the people in your orbit have become the targets of an unfounded, politically motivated Witch Hunt supported by lawyers, prosecutors, and the Fake News Media, you have no choice. If there was any question in my mind, the raid of my home, Mar-a-Lago, on Monday by the FBI, just two days prisor to this deposition, wiped out any uncertainty. I have absolutely no choice because the current Administration and many prosecutors in this Country have lost all moral and ethical bounds of decency.

Accordingly, under the advice of my counsel and for all of the above reasons, I declined to answer the questions under the rights and privileges afforded to every citizen under the United States Constitution.

Mary Trump joins calls for FBI warrant release

Wednesday 10 August 2022 16:10 , Andrew Naughtie

For all that Donald Trump complains the raid on his Mar-a-Lago property was a baseless abuse of law enforcement power, he has so far declined to do something entirely within his power: release the warrant granted to search the property, a document that could shed at least some light on exactly what the FBI was seeking on Monday.

His reticence to share the warrant has not gone unnoticed among his critics – his niece Mary Trump among them.

Ms Trump, a psychologist who has written a book on what she says is her uncle’s deep pathology, said in an interview after the raid that the ex-president will be “panicking” in response to the FBI’s investigation. Eric Garcia has more.

‘It’s coming fast and furious’: Mary Trump says uncle is ‘panicked’ by FBI raid

Trump says he pleaded fifth

Wednesday 10 August 2022 15:50 , Andrew Naughtie

Former president Donald Trump on Wednesday he declined to answer questions and invoked his right against self-incrimination during a deposition with investigators working for New York Attorney General Letitia James’ office.

“Under the advice of my counsel and for all of the above reasons, I declined to answer the questions under the rights and privileges afforded to every citizen under the United States Constitution,” Mr Trump said at the end of a lengthy, rambling statement filled with attacks on Ms James, who has been overseeing a long-running probe into whether Mr Trump’s eponymous real estate company violated New York tax laws.

Shortly after posting on his own social media platform about having arrived at Ms James’ “very plush, beautiful, and expensive” offices, the ex-president sent out the statement through his government-funded post-presidential office.

Andrew Feinberg reports.

Trump says he invoked right against self-incrimination in New York AG deposition

Former AZ governor shades prospective pro-Trump successor

Wednesday 10 August 2022 15:25 , Andrew Naughtie

Republican Jan Brewer was no moderate when she served as governor of Arizona during the Obama administration, but even she has little patience for Kari Lake, Donald Trump’s preferred candidate and now nominee for the office in this year’s election.

Having once been an uncompromising Trump critic, Ms Lake has now positioned herself as both a culture warrior (particularly on LGBT+ issues) and a true believer of 2020 election conspiracy theories.

Discussing the prospect of Ms Lake’s candidacy with the New York Times, Ms Brewer had these unsparing words:

Trump lawyers suggest FBI planted evidence

Wednesday 10 August 2022 15:00 , Andrew Naughtie

Donald Trump has this morning suggested that the FBI barred his lawyers from entering Mar-a-Lago so that agents could plant evidence, members of his legal team have already been taking to the airwaves to say the same thing:

Also indulging the nascent evidence-planting conspiracy theory are Fox News hosts. Here’s a clip from Fox & Friends this morning:

Trump shares bizarre video targeting Letitia James

Wednesday 10 August 2022 14:35 , Andrew Naughtie

Ahead of his sworn testimony to the New York Attorney General’s office today, Donald Trump has shared a strange supercut of clips showing the officerholder herself, Letitia James, making unflattering statements about him and promising to investigate him.

Posting on Truth Social, he’s also shared longer, unedited clips of the attorney general talking about him. He has repeatedly described Ms James as racist and framed her as obsessed with persecuting him for purely political reasons, a claim she rejects.

Trump claims FBI may have planted evidence and says lawyers were banished from Mar-a-Lago during raid

Wednesday 10 August 2022 14:10 , Andrew Naughtie

Donald Trump has made a new claim about the search of his Mar-a-Lago residence: that during the raid, FBI agents asked people present, including his lawyers, to leave the premises so they could carry out their search unobserved, possibly allowing them to plant evidence.

 (Truth Social)
(Truth Social)

Keeping people away from an area being searched is in fact not unusual or unexpected, and probably reflects the FBI’s intention to avoid anyone affiliated with the former president from concealing what they were looking for.

Trump attorney Lindsey Halligan has confirmed that she and another lawyer were forbidden from entering the complex during the search, but she has also been able to describe which areas the agents searched: a bedroom, a storage area and an office.

David Taintor reports:

Trump baselessly suggests FBI ‘planted’ evidence during Mar-a-Lago search

Bannon and Jones dive deep into FBI conspiracy theory

Wednesday 10 August 2022 14:00 , Andrew Naughtie

Former White House adviser Steve Bannon has claimed that the “deep state” is planning to assasinate former president Donald Trump and that the FBI planted evidence against him during the raid on his Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida.

“I do not think it’s beyond this administrative state and their deep state apparatus to actually try to work on the assassination of President Trump. I think – I think everything’s on the table,” Mr Bannon said in an interview with right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones on Infowars.

“I think security ought to be at the highest it’s ever been. And honestly, I think he ought to and I think he should have flown down in Mar-a-Lago this morning, walked out there at noon today, and said, hey, I’m running for president, United States. Suck on that.”

Sravasti Dasgupta has the story.

Steve Bannon tells Alex Jones the ‘deep state’ is planning to assassinate Trump

Report: FBI obtained CCTV from Mar-a-Lago

Wednesday 10 August 2022 13:40 , Andrew Naughtie

As reported by the New York Times, one of Donald Trump’s lawyers, Christina Bobb, has described a previous subpoena from the FBI to the Trump Organization that saw the bureau obtain surveillance video from Mar-a-Lago.

It is not clear what period the tapes covered, why they were subpoenaed, or whether anything they contained helped create the impetus for Monday’s raid. However, sources have confirmed to the Times that despite the Trump team’s previous compliance with subpoenas, FBI investigators had come to question whether the information they were receiving was entirely accurate or honest.

Trump to testify in NY probe today

Wednesday 10 August 2022 13:00 , Andrew Naughtie

The FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago aside, Donald Trump is under legal pressure on many fronts, and perhaps the highest-profile case against him personally is the New York Attorney General’s probe into allegations of fraud in his real estate dealings. Having spent months fighting a subpoena for his testimony, Mr Trump is today set to testify under oath to the attorney general’s office today.

The former president, whose children Ivanka and Donald Jr were recently interviewed for the investigation, has repeatedly characterised the probe as a political witch-hunt, and repeatedly insulted the attorney general Letitia James as she continues to pursue the case.

Here’s what he wrote about today’s interview on Truth Social last night:

Seeing racist N.Y.S. Attorney General tomorrow, for a continuation of the greatest Witch Hunt in U.S. history! My great company, and myself, are being attacked from all sides. Banana Republic!

Rubio claims “far left” trying to “criminalise opposition”

Wednesday 10 August 2022 12:40 , Andrew Naughtie

Speaking on Fox News last night, Florida Senator Marco Rubio tried to hammer home what’s become one of the top GOP talking points about Monday’s FBI raid: that law enforcement investigation of political figures is the sort of thing that happens in failed states and banana republics, and that the Biden administration is a “regime” hellbent on “criminalising” its opponents.

He couched this analysis in a warning that when power reverts to the GOP, there will be reprisals for those who initiated the investigation of Mr Trump – essentially promising that his own party is prepared to engage in exactly the sort of politically motivated investigation he accuses the Democrats of pursuing.

Trump lawyer gives details of FBI search

Wednesday 10 August 2022 12:20 , Andrew Naughtie

One of Donald Trump’s attorneys, Lindsey Halligan, was present at Mar-a-Lago for much of Monday’s FBI raid – and yesterday, she spoke to CBS news to give them a detailed description of what happened.

Here’s an excerpt:

She was the second Trump attorney to arrive on scene, at about 11 a.m, after the search had begun. Christina Bobb, who used to be a TV host on the far right OAN Network, was already there.

Over the next eight hours, Halligan said 30-40 FBI personnel conducted the search. There were a handful dressed in suits, but most wore t-shirts, cargo pants, masks and gloves. Halligan estimates 10-15 FBI vehicles went in and out of the property, including a Ryder truck.

She didn’t witness boxes or documents being loaded onto the truck, though she did not dispute FBI investigators took material from Mar-a-Lago — Halligan just didn’t see it.

Sources told CBS News that the FBI did, in fact, take boxes and documents from Mar-a-Lago, but no electronics.

Ms Halligan’s description only sheds so much light in the absence of the FBI’s warrant, which Mr Trump could release if he chose to.

Read CBS’s full report here.

Trump-backing GOP congressman issues statement on FBI seizing his phone

Wednesday 10 August 2022 12:00 , Andrew Naughtie

Scott Perry, a Republican congressman from Arizona who reportedly sought a blanket pardon from the White House after the Capitol riot, has also been visited by the FBI this week. In his case, three agents arrived to seize his cell phone.

Mr Perry is predictably furious, and has issued the below statement decrying the FBI’s “banana republic tactics”.

It is unclear whether the seizure is connected to the Mar-a-Lago raid or to the Department of Justice’s probe into the events leading up to the events of 6 January 2021, which has lately seen multiple members of the Trump inner circle called to testify before a grand jury while others have been arrested and their homes searched.

Watch: Trump supporters protest “witch hunt” at Mar-a-Lago

Wednesday 10 August 2022 11:37 , Andrew Naughtie

No sooner had the news of the FBI raid at Mar-a-Lago broken than Trump supporters began to gather outside the president’s resort for a protest. Some of them were still there yesterday, and had this to say about what they considered an “unconstitutional” search:

FBI search raises fresh questions on whether Trump broke the law

Wednesday 10 August 2022 11:06 , Arpan Rai

Experts assessing the impact of the FBI search at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago house-turned-club premises have said there are fresh questions into the investigation surrounding the former president’s mishandling of law.

More than a day later, questions remain on multiple fronts about the search, much of which remains unclear.

Washington-based lawyer David Laufman, who headed the Justice Department’s counterintelligence and export control section during an investigation into Hillary Clinton, said: “It often comes down to whether there are aggravating factors in these cases.”

These factors include how much classified information was mishandled, the extent to which the person knew they were in possession of classified information, how sensitive the material was and whether its exposure placed US national security at risk.

People familiar with the issue have said that the search late on Monday related to an ongoing Justice Department investigation into the discovery of classified material in boxes of White House records the National Archives and Records Administration recovered from Mar-A-Lago earlier this year.

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

Wednesday 10 August 2022 11:00 , 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.

Alex Woodward reviews a partial list of the key probes involving Mr Trump and where they currently stand following an unprecedented FBI raid at his Palm Beach, Florida home at Mar-a-Lago on 8 August.

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

GOP backs Trump’s 2024 election pitch after FBI raid

Wednesday 10 August 2022 10:40 , Arpan Rai

A call for support made by Donald Trump in a campaign-style video on social media where he said “the best is yet to come” is now seeing resounding backing from many Republicans, who cannot wait for the former president’s expected third run for the White House.

“One thing I can tell you. I believed he was going to run before. I’m stronger in my belief now,” said South Carolina’s senator Lindsey Graham from Columbia, who said that he spoke with Mr Trump and is certain another campaign is coming.

Indiana GOP representative Jim Banks said that “the sooner he kicks off his campaign, the better”.

Mr Banks, who is also the chair of the Republican Study Committee, was among about a dozen Republican lawmakers who spent several hours on Tuesday evening with Mr Trump at his summer home in Bedminster, New Jersey.

The meal with the former president included steak, scallops, mashed potatoes, salad and a Trump cookie.

In the get-together, Mr Banks said that the group talked about the upcoming midterm elections and the 2024 presidential race.

‘Morning Joe’ appears to troll Trump with Goodfellas music after segment on FBI raid

Wednesday 10 August 2022 10:40 , Oliver O'Connell

Hours after the FBI’s search of Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, MSNBC’s Morning Joe delighted many viewers on Tuesday morning with a specific choice of music during a transition to a commercial break.

‘Morning Joe’ trolls Trump with Goodfellas music after segment on FBI raid

Pence slams FBI and DOJ for Mar-a-Lago raid

Wednesday 10 August 2022 10:20 , Oliver O'Connell

Former Vice President Mike Pence has slammed the FBI and Department of Justice after agents raided Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate.

“I share the deep concern of millions of Americans over the unprecedented search of the personal residence of President Trump. No former President of the United States has ever been subject to a raid of their personal residence in American history,” Mr Pence tweeted on Tuesday.

Gustaf Kilander reports.

Mike Pence slams FBI and DOJ for Mar-a-Lago raid

How the ‘raid’ on Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home went down

Wednesday 10 August 2022 10:00 , Oliver O'Connell

The grounds of the palatial Mar-a-Lago estate were unusually quiet on Monday morning. The sprawling Palm Beach resort was mostly closed to guests, as it usually is during the hottest summer months. Only staff and close friends of the owner, Donald Trump, were around to see a stream of black cars sweep up the driveway.

Inside those cars were agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, there to execute a search warrant on the former president’s primary residence.

Richard Hall reports for The Independent on what happened in Palm Beach on Monday.

A broken safe and a ransacked closet: How the ‘raid’ on Trump’s Mar-A-Lago went down

Everything we know about Trump’s flushed documents

Wednesday 10 August 2022 09:38 , Arpan Rai

Donald Trump’s handwritten notes which were flushed down the toilet were only found after repairmen found them, in one of the more bizarre reports that have emerged from New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman, who has covered the White House and the former president extensively.

According to Haberman, aides to Donald Trump “regularly” found what appeared to be notes or documents of some sort torn up and stuffed in White House toilets apparently in attempts to destroy them.

Haberman followed up her February report with evidence: specifically, two photos of toilets with pieces of paper inside commode bowls, where White House aides discovered supposed attempts to flush them out without success.

John Bowden stitches together everything we know so far about ‘Toiletgate’ and the alleged attempted use of White House plumbing as a document disposal method.

Everything we know about Trump’s flushed documents

House committee claims victory in battle for Donald Trump’s tax returns

Wednesday 10 August 2022 09:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Members of Congress on the House Ways and Means Committee announced a victory in their battle to obtain Donald Trump’s tax returns on Tuesday, the culmination of a years-long battle in the war to prove longstanding allegations of fraud and wrongdoing that have dogged the president for years.

The Democrat-led committee announced on Twitter that a court’s decision meant that lawmakers would obtain Mr Trump’s financial records “immediately”.

John Bowden has the story.

House committee claims victory in battle for Donald Trump’s tax returns

How Trump and the GOP changed course on prosecuting political figures

Wednesday 10 August 2022 09:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Throughout his presidential campaigns, and even after he took the White House, the crowds at Donald Trump’s rallies reverberated with a familiar refrain: “Lock her up!”

The chants, embraced and encouraged by Mr Trump and his allies, demanded the imprisonment of his then-political opponent, Hillary Clinton. Years later, the Republican party has an altogether different view on the prosecution of political figures.

Alex Woodward reports.

From ‘lock her up’ to ‘defund the FBI’: How the GOP changed course on prosecutions

Donald Trump says he will testify in separate probe of business practices in New York today

Wednesday 10 August 2022 08:56 , Arpan Rai

Donald Trump has said he will testify today in the New York attorney general’s long-running civil investigation into his business dealings as a real estate mogul, at a time he is embroiled in several legal probes.

“In New York City tonight. Seeing racist N.Y.S. Attorney General tomorrow, for a continuation of the greatest Witch Hunt in U.S. history!” the former president wrote on Truth Social.

He added: “My great company, and myself, are being attacked from all sides. Banana Republic!”

This comes just days after FBI agents rounded up and searched his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida in a separate federal probe to check if he took classified records with him while exiting the White House last year.

If Mr Trump testifies on Wednesday, he will be participating in a civil investigation by New York authorities, led by Attorney General Letitia James, where he and his company the Trump Organization, have been accused of misstating the value of prized assets like golf courses and skyscrapers, misleading lenders and tax authorities.Read the detailed report here:

Trump says he's testifying Wednesday in NY investigation

‘Civil war’ tweets spike after FBI raid

Wednesday 10 August 2022 08:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Tweets using the term “civil war” spiked dramatically after the FBI raid on Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, according to analysis from the social media tracking firm Dataminr.

‘Civil war’ tweets spike after the Trump Mar-a-Lago FBI raid

ICYMI: FBI seized 10 boxes of evidence in raid on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home - report

Wednesday 10 August 2022 08:14 , Arpan Rai

About 10 boxes of material were seized by the FBI from Donald Trump’s home at his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter.

The late Monday search is related to the Justice Department’s investigation into how the former president handled sensitive documents at the end of his administration.

It is believed that the raid was likely approved by top law enforcement officials like Attorney General Merrick Garland, a Biden appointee, and FBI chief Christopher Wray, a Trump appointee.

Read the full report here:

FBI seized 10 boxes of evidence in raid on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home: report

Giuliani caught lying about inability to fly in attempt to delay grand jury appearance

Wednesday 10 August 2022 08:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Former Trump attorney Rudolph Giuliani was caught lying to Georgia prosecutors in an attempt to get out of travelling to Atlanta to appear before a grand jury that is investigating former president Donald Trump’s attempt to pressure Georgia officials into overturning Joe Biden’s 2020 election win there.

Last month, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ office issued a subpoena for Mr Giuliani to appear before a special grand jury she convened earlier this year. The panel is probing whether Mr Trump or his associates broke Georgia law by pressuring Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and Governor Brian Kemp to “find” enough non-existent votes to reverse the ex-president’s loss to Mr Biden.

Mr Giuliani was set to appear before the grand jury on 9 August, but in court documents, the ex-New York City mayor’s lawyers argued that a recent cardiac procedure left him unable to travel on the advice of his physicians.

Giuliani caught lying about being unable to fly in push to delay grand jury testimony

Trump’s ex-press secretary denies being source of flushed documents images

Wednesday 10 August 2022 07:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Former White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham has claimed that former president Donald Trump “did not handle classified documents properly” while in office – but has denied speculation that she was the source of images showing papers he had torn up floating in toilets.

Andrew Naughtie reports.

Trump’s ex-press secretary denies being source of toilet images showing flushed docs

How GOP plans to weaponise FBI’s Mar-a-Lago raid for midterms

Wednesday 10 August 2022 07:15 , Arpan Rai

There may not be a lot that is clear about the Florida raid — how many FBI agents carried it out, what materials were recovered and who signed off the order to carry out the raids at Mar-a-Lago.

But it is immediately clear that Republicans will seek to use it to their advantage.

Nobody was more dramatic in their description of what had happened than Donald Trump himself.

“Nothing like this has ever happened to a president of the United States before. After working and cooperating with the relevant government agencies, this unannounced raid on my home was not necessary or appropriate,” he claimed. “It is prosecutorial misconduct, the weaponisation of the justice system.”

In the first sign of Mr Trump’s supporters seizing on the issue, they have vowed to try and put pressure on both Joe Biden and attorney general Merrick Garland if they win control of the House in November.

House Minority leader Kevin McCarthy, who wants to take Nancy Pelosi’s job as speaker, vowed Republicans would establish their own hearings.

Read the full story by US chief correspondent Andrew Buncombe here:

How GOP plans to weaponise FBI’s Mar-a-Lago raid for midterms

‘He didn’t have anything in the safe’ insist Trump’s adult kids

Wednesday 10 August 2022 07:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Eric Trump and his wife Lara Trump appeared on Fox News to blast the FBI for raiding Mar-a-Lago in search of documents that the former president took with him when he left the White House.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump Jr took to Twitter to slam the measures taken by federal authorities.

Gustaf Kilander has the story.

Trump’s adult kids flood Fox News to insist on his innocence in FBI raid

Republican who voted for impeachment concedes to Trump-backed challenger

Wednesday 10 August 2022 06:38 , Arpan Rai

Republican congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler, who voted for Donald Trump’s impeachment, has conceded a hard-fought primary battle to a challenger endorsed by the former president.

“Ever since I was first elected to this seat I have done my very best to serve my home region and our country,” Ms Herrera Beutler said in a statement released to the media on Tuesday.

The 43-year-old said: “Though my campaign came up short this time, I’m proud of all we’ve accomplished together for the place where I was raised and still call home.”

She was one of 10 Republicans in the House who backed impeaching Mr Trump for his role in the Jan 6 riots, and establishing a committee to investigate what happened that day and the events leading up to them.

Read the full story here:

Republican who voted for impeachment concedes to Trump-backed challenger

Hillary Clinton reacts after FBI raid on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate

Wednesday 10 August 2022 06:15 , Oliver O'Connell

If there’s anyone who can rightfully feel a sense of schadenfreude following the FBI raid on Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida, it is Hillary Clinton.

Hillary Clinton reacts after FBI raid on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate

Trump mocked for picking the FBI director who raided his home

Wednesday 10 August 2022 05:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump has been mocked online after he said he was subject to a search on his Mar-A-Lago address. The raid would have been approved by the very same FBI director he appointed.

The former US president issued a statement late on Monday night attacking FBI boss Christopher Wray and the US Justice Department for the raid, which he said had been “not necessary or appropriate” and noted that “Nothing like this has ever happened to a President of the United States before.”

Gin o Spocchia has the story.

Trump mocked for picking the FBI director who raided him

GOP backs Trump’s 2024 election pitch after FBI raid

Wednesday 10 August 2022 04:45 , Arpan Rai

A call for support made by Donald Trump in a campaign-style video on social media where he said “the best is yet to come” is now seeing resounding backing from many Republicans, who cannot wait for the former president’s expected third run for the White House.

“One thing I can tell you. I believed he was going to run before. I’m stronger in my belief now,” said South Carolina’s senator Lindsey Graham from Columbia, who said that he spoke with Mr Trump and is certain another campaign is coming.

Indiana GOP representative Jim Banks said that “the sooner he kicks off his campaign, the better”.

Mr Banks, who is also the chair of the Republican Study Committee, was among about a dozen Republican lawmakers who spent several hours on Tuesday evening with Mr Trump at his summer home in Bedminster, New Jersey.

The meal with the former president included steak, scallops, mashed potatoes, salad and a Trump cookie.

In the get-together, Mr Banks said that the group talked about the upcoming midterm elections and the 2024 presidential race.

Florida lawmaker calls for arrest of FBI agents

Wednesday 10 August 2022 04:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Following the FBI raid on former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in southern Florida, state lawmaker Anthony Sabatini called for the arrest of federal agents and urged the state to “sever all ties” with the Department of Justice.

Gustaf Kilander reports.

Florida lawmaker calls for arrest of FBI agents and to ‘sever ties with DOJ’

Marjorie Taylor Greene tweets upside down American flag amid GOP fury

Wednesday 10 August 2022 04:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Multiple Republican elected officials criticised the FBI’s raid on former president Donald Trump’s home at Mar-A-Lago on Monday evening.

Rep Marjorie Taylor Greene, one of Mr Trump’s biggest defenders in Congress, tweeted an upside down American flag. She also wrote in all-caps “DEFUND THE FBI!”.

Marjorie Taylor Greene tweets upside down US flag after raid on Trump’s home

Michael Cohen posts grinning reaction to FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago

Wednesday 10 August 2022 03:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen joined the chorus celebrating the raids at former president’s Mar-a-Lago residence with a grinning selfie he posted on Twitter.

Stuti Mishra reports.

Ex-Trump fixer Michael Cohen posts grinning reaction to FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago

What happens next and will the scandal stop Trump running in 2024?

Wednesday 10 August 2022 03:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump has complained after the FBI staged a sudden, dramatic raid on his palatial Florida estate Mar-a-Lago on Monday evening.

The 45th US president, who lost the White House after just one term and left Washington DC in disgrace in January 2021 following the deadly Capitol riot, predictably denounced the agents’ actions as evidence of a Democratic Party-led conspiracy to stop him launching a fresh tilt at the presidency in 2024.

Here’s what you need to know about what could happen next.

What happens next after the FBI raid on Donald Trump’s home?

Everything you need to know about Mar-a-Lago, the one-time ‘Winter White House’

Wednesday 10 August 2022 02:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Mar-a-Lago itself, the property “currently under siege”, covers 62,500 square feet and boasts no fewer than 126 rooms.

Here’s everything you need to know about the property.

Everything you need to know about Donald Trump’s home Mar-a-Lago

Trump claims White House was in on FBI Mar-a-Lago raid: ‘Biden knew’

Wednesday 10 August 2022 02:01 , Graeme Massie

Donald Trump says that Joe Biden “knew” that the former president’s Mar-a-Lago estate was going to be raided by the FBI, a claim that the White House has already denied.

Mr Trump took to his Truth Social website on Tuesday night, the day after federal agents executed a search warrant at his sprawling estate in Palm Beach while he was in New York.

Trump claims White House was in on FBI Mar-a-Lago raid

Don Jr mocked for saying FBI raid is ‘ripping this country apart’

Wednesday 10 August 2022 02:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Former president Donald Trump’s son was mocked on social media after he claimed that an FBI raid at Mar-a-Lago on Monday evening is “ripping the country apart.”

Donald Trump Jr mocked for saying FBI raid on his dad is ‘ripping this country apart’

Mary Trump says uncle is ‘panicked’ by FBI raid

Wednesday 10 August 2022 01:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump’s niece, author and psychologist Mary Trump, appeared on cable news just hours after the FBI raided Mar-a-Lago, saying that her uncle is panicked by the actions of the federal authorities.

The FBI raided the home on Monday and Mr Trump “may have been told it was coming”, according to his niece, but she added that he wouldn’t have thought that the agency would really go through with it in the end.

Gustaf Kilander has the story.

‘It’s coming fast and furious’: Mary Trump says uncle is ‘panicked’ by FBI raid

Trump may not be able to office again over classified documents, lawyer says

Wednesday 10 August 2022 01:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump could be legally disqualified from holding office again if he is convicted of unlawfully taking or destroying government records from the White House, a Democrat elections lawyer has noted following the FBI’s raid of his property.

Shweta Sharma reports.

Trump could be ‘disqualified from holding office again over classified documents’

Why Mar-a-Lago was raided by the FBI

Wednesday 10 August 2022 00:30 , Oliver O'Connell

A source familiar with the matter confirmed to Reuters that the raid appeared to be tied to Mr Trump’s removal of classified records from the White House.

Why Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence was raided by the FBI

Obama ethics tsar says possible Garland knew about Mar-A-Lago search

Wednesday 10 August 2022 00:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Former president Barack Obama’s former ethics tsar told The Independent that it is entirely likely that Attorney General Merrick Garland signed off on the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s executing a search warrant on former president Donald Trump’s home at Mar-a-Lago.

Eric Garcia reports.

Obama ethics tsar says it’s entirely possible Garland knew about Mar-A-Lago search

Trump ally Scott Perry says FBI have seized his phone following Mar-a-Lago raid

Tuesday 9 August 2022 23:56 , Graeme Massie

Trump ally Representative Scott Perry says that the FBI seized his phone the day after agents raided Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.

The Republican congressman from Pennsylvania told Fox News that federal agents approached him on Tuesday with a warrant and demanded that he hand over the phone.

More details below.

Trump ally Scott Perry says FBI have seized his phone following Mar-a-Lago raid

Report: FBI seized 10 boxes of evidence in raid on Mar-a-Lago

Tuesday 9 August 2022 23:40 , Oliver O'Connell

The FBI seized about 10 boxes of material from Donald Trump’s home at his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida on Monday, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter.

The search was part of the Justice Department’s investigation into how the former president handled sensitive documents at the end of his administration.

Josh Marcus has the latest.

FBI seized 10 boxes of evidence in raid on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home: report

GOP rep confronted over double-standard in approach to Trump and Clinton

Tuesday 9 August 2022 23:30 , Oliver O'Connell

CNN’s Pamela Brown confronted GOP Rep Mike Turner over his differing comments regarding classified information being at Hillary Clinton’s private residence, and it being at Donald Trump’s home.

She asked the lawmaker: “Secretary Clinton, you at the time indicated you were outraged by the way she handled classified information...so why don’t you share that same concert with Donald Trump?”

Mr Turner responded that in this instance “we don’t really know that these informations are classified.”

Watch below:

‘The president was not briefed’

Tuesday 9 August 2022 23:00 , Oliver O'Connell

The White House has weighed in on the FBI “raid” of former President Trump Mar-a-Lago residence, emphatically stating that President Biden did not receive any advance warning of the law enforcement activity.

“No. The president was not briefed, was not aware of it. No one at the White House was given a heads up. No, that did not happen,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters during the daily briefing.

Andrew Feinberg reports from The White House.

White House breaks silence on Trump raid: ‘The president was not briefed’

Analysis: How the GOP plans to weaponise FBI’s Mar-a-Lago raid for midterms

Tuesday 9 August 2022 22:40 , Oliver O'Connell

Andrew Buncombe writes:

Those who welcomed the raid and wanted to see the Department of Justice step up its pressure on Trump, amid several investigations into the events of January 6, may have considered the flashing lights a cause for celebration.

Yet as America and the world watched with open mouths as another twist in the saga of Donald J Trump played out, he, his family, and top officials in the Republican Party, saw in those flashing lights a convenient and timely means of attacking Joe Biden and the Democrats.

Read on:

How GOP plans to weaponise FBI’s Mar-a-Lago raid for midterms

Senate GOP Whip demands FBI answers

Tuesday 9 August 2022 22:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Republican Whip Senator John Thune has commented on the FBI raid of Mar-a-Lago:

“The FBI needs to provide answers as to why they raided the home of a former American president. Complete transparency is the only way to dispel the American people’s worst suspicions about the agency’s motives.

“Like every other American, I await their timely explanation. Delay is not an option.”

Trump allies in uproar

Tuesday 9 August 2022 22:22 , Oliver O'Connell

Allies of former president Donald Trump have reacted with fury to the FBI’s execution of a search warrant at the former president’s Palm Beach, Florida home as part of a criminal investigation into whether he unlawfully mishandled government records, including highly-classified documents.

According to a source familiar with the investigation, the search of Mr Trump’s residence at the Palm Beach mansion known as Mar-a-Lago was part of a long-running Justice Department’s probe into Mr Trump’s possession of documents that were required to be returned to the National Archives and Records Administration when he left office in January 2021.

The Independent’s Andrew Feinberg reviews what we know so far and what the reaction has been from Trump loyalists.

Trump allies in uproar after FBI agents search Mar-a-Lago

Trump lawyer implies FBI would ‘plant information’ and ‘make stuff up’

Tuesday 9 August 2022 22:01 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump attorney Christina Bobb implies that the FBI could have planted something at Mar-a-Lago as she was “precluded from watching what they did”, but then suggests that the bureau would not bother and would just “make stuff up”.

Voices: The raid on Mar-a-Lago is the best thing that ever happened to the GOP

Tuesday 9 August 2022 21:40 , Oliver O'Connell

Noah Berlatsky asks if the apparent outrage at the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago is actually more performative.

Many of those who rushed to defend Trump are his rivals for the 2024 Republican nomination; others have denounced him in the past and have good reason to despise him. All of them have to know that Trump is a reckless narcissist and a threat to the party on multiple fronts. Indeed, lots of people in the GOP want Trump out of the way. They just don’t want their fingerprints on the knife.

Read more:

This FBI raid is the best thing that ever happened to the Republican Party

GOP senator calls for letting FBI search ‘play out'

Tuesday 9 August 2022 21:27 , Oliver O'Connell

Republican Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, a potential presidential contender in 2024, said that he believes the country needs to let the FBI’s investigation of former President Donald Trump “play out and see what happens.”

Mr Scott appeared on the programme CBS Mornings to promote his new book, America, A Redemption Story. But, predictably, the first part of the conversation on Tuesday morning was dominated by the news of the FBI’s search of Mr Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence on Monday.

Abe Asher reports.

GOP senator calls for letting FBI search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago property ‘play out’

Roger Stone speaks out about Trump raid

Tuesday 9 August 2022 21:19 , Oliver O'Connell

Political operative and Trump-ally Roger Stone spoke to The Daily Mail on Monday evening about the raid on Mar-a-Lago.

“I know firsthand the violation that President Trump must feel tonight,” he said. “Just as Mueller’s prosecutors could have contacted my lawyers so that I could turn myself in voluntarily, they [instead] had 29 heavily armed FBI agents storm my home at 6am with CNN in tow.

“Now they have elected to utilise the optics and drama of a raid on the home of the former president of United States rather than file suit to obtain classified documents they allege he has.”

Mr Stone says he believed that Mr Trump’s attorneys had been in “active negotiations with the National Archives” over the documents the former president has taken with him to Florida at the end of his presidency.

“The lawyer handling those negotiations, Boris Epsteyn is an incompetent buffoon and his mishandling of those negotiations led to this raid,” he said.

“What documents are they so anxious to ensure they have control of so they never see the light of day? UFOs? The Kennedy Assassination? Debunking of the Russian collusion hoax?”

“How is it that Hillary Clinton uses bleach to destroy a hard drive that includes classified documents but there are no raids on her home for prosecution of her?” he added.

Mr Stone stated that he believed in political terms, such heavy-handed tactics are backfiring badly with the voters.

“Many particularly care for President Trump and are outraged are telling me that it’s time to clean house,” he concluded.

Trump raid is a ‘coup’ that will ‘enrage the country’, says distraught Fox News

Tuesday 9 August 2022 21:08 , Oliver O'Connell

Fox News host Jesse Watters and his guest, Buck Sexton, decried the FBI raid of Mar-a-Lago on Monday and portrayed the event as a brazen attempt by a weaponised Justice Department to thwart Donald Trump’s 2024 bid for office.

The pair made the comments on Mr Watters’s show, Jesse Watters Primetime, on Monday evening as news of the FBI raid broke via a statement from the former president. In his remarks, Mr Trump claimed that his residence was “occupied” by FBI agents.

John Bowden reports.

Distraught Fox News says Trump raid is a ‘coup’ that will ‘enrage the country’

McConnell refuses to answer question about Trump raid

Tuesday 9 August 2022 20:59 , Oliver O'Connell

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to answer a question about the FBI’s search of Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence.

He insisted he was only answering questions about the flooding damage in Kentucky that he spend today touring.

Dan Bongino unloads on FBI after Trump raid

Tuesday 9 August 2022 20:58 , Oliver O'Connell

Conservative political commentator Dan Bongino has apparently lost faith in his former law enforcement colleagues following the FBI’s raid on former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence.

Mr Bongino, 47, has a long career in law enforcement. Born in Queens, he served as a member of the New York City Police Department in the late 1990s prior to a long stint as a Secret Service agent that ended in 2011. But he was left irate yesterday after the FBI executed a search warrant at Mr Trump’s home.

Abe Asher reports.

Conservative Dan Bongino unloads on FBI after Trump raid: ‘Everyone has to go!’

Tuesday 9 August 2022 20:43 , Oliver O'Connell

Pushed further, Ms Jean-Pierre again says the White House will not comment on ongoing investigations and says that the administration was first made aware of the raid through public reports.

She adds that she will not comment on hypotheticals regarding the 2024 election or what may happen if the Republicans takeover Congress after the midterms later this year.

White House denies any ‘heads up’ about Mar-a-Lago, emphasises independence of DoJ

Tuesday 9 August 2022 20:40 , Oliver O'Connell

Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was asked at today’s briefing if President Joe Biden or anyone else at the White House had been aware of the FBI’s search warrant for Mar-a-Lago, or whether they had been briefed after it was executed.

Ms Jean-Pierre responded: “No. The president was not briefed … was not aware of it. No, no one at the White House was given a heads up. No, that did not happen.

Pressed further on the matter regarding the domestic political climate and the message such an operation against a former president sends to the rest of the world, the press secretary responded: “First off, and you’ve heard us say this many times at this podium. You’ve heard the President say this. The justice department conducts investigations independently, and we leave any law enforcement matters to them. It would not be appropriate for us to comment on any ongoing investigations.

“I can say that President Biden has been unequivocal since the campaign he believes in the rule of law, in the independence of … Justice Department investigations, that those investigations should be free from political influence. And he has held that commitment as president.

“I want to also remind you all of what he said on January 7 of 2021, when he then nominated Merrick Garland to be the Attorney General, and I quote: ‘We need to restore the honor the integrity of the independence of the Department of Justice in this nation that has been so badly damaged and so many former leaders of that department in both parties have so testified and that and stated that I want to be clear to those who lead this department who you will serve. You won’t work for me. You are not the President or the Vice President’s lawyer. Your loyalty is not to me it’s to the law, the Constitution, the people of this nation, to guarantee justice.’”

The Florida blogger who broke the the biggest story in US politics

Tuesday 9 August 2022 20:25 , Oliver O'Connell

Recalling how he landed the story, Peter Schorsch told The Independent it began when he received a text from an old friend in Florida politics to say he was sitting on a “yuge” story – intentionally employing the former president’s speaking style.

He spoke with Bevan Hurley.

Meet the little-known Florida blogger who broke the Mar-a-Lago raid story

Click here to read the full blog on The Independent's website