Trump news today: DA says decision to file charges is ‘imminent’ as judge weighs release of grand jury report
Trump says there were no documents found at Mar-a-Lago, just ‘cool’ empty folders marked classified
A judge in Georgia heard arguments on Tuesday over the public release of a grand jury report following an eight-month probe into Donald Trump’s allleged attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 election in that state.
During its investigation, 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.
The report from the special grand jury, which is barred from issuing indictments, likely includes a summary of its investigative work and recommendations for indictments for alleged misconduct that prompted the investigation and its conclusions.
Attorneys for the former president have claimed that they were never involved with the probe, while Fulton Country District Attorney Fani Willis argued to keep the report private, for now, as her office appears ready to file criminal charges against people named in the report. A decision from her office is “imminent,” she told the judge.
New Trump photo with mobster surfaces a day after outrage over ex-mob boss photo op
A photo taken during the summer of 2022 shows a grinning former president Donald Trump flashing a thumbs up gesture while posing with John Alite, a podcaster and motivational speaker who was once a hitman for the Gambino crime family.
Alite, who confirmed the authenticity of the photo in a phone interview with The Independent, described himself as a political independent who supported Mr Trump’s push for criminal justice reform, and said his support for the ex-president is well known.
The Independent was made aware of the photo after The Philadelphia Inquirer published a photo with the former president and Joseph “Skinny Joey” Merlino, who ran the Philadelphia mafia in the 1990s when Mr Trump was a casino operator in nearby Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Alex Woodward25 January 2023 03:00
Trump drops appeal, ending legal fight over New York probe
Donald Trump has abandoned another lawsuit against New York Attorney General Letitia James, a second time he’s halted legal action against her after a judge last week fined him and his lawyers nearly $1m for filing frivolous cases.
Alex Woodward25 January 2023 01:00
‘You are the reason Brian is dead’: Mother of Capitol officer who died after Jan 6 asks judge for lengthy prison sentence against rioter
In a letter to US District Judge Thomas Hogan included with the government’s filing against a Capitol rioter who pleaded guilty to assaulting a police officer with a dangerous weapon, the mother of a Capitol officer who died after the attack told him “you are the reason Brian is dead”.
Brian Sicknick’s mother Gladys Sicknick said the rioter, Julian Khater, has taken “center stage in our recurring nightmare” after he pepper sprayed the officer in the face.
Federal prosecutors have asked for a prison sentence of seven and a half years.
“Just when raw nerves have begun to heal, we are carried back to the scene of your crime,” she wrote in her letter. “You, among all the other crazies – you are the reason Brian is dead, Mr Khater.”
After he was hit with pepper spray on 6 January, 2021, Sicknick collapsed later that day. He died the following day in hospital. His death was ruled to be from natural causes after suffering a series of strokes.
His partner Sandra Garza filed a $10m wrongful death lawsuit this month against Mr Khater and Donald Trump, accused of fuelling the mob with his baseless stolen election narrative.
Alex Woodward25 January 2023 00:00
Oath Keepers founder seeks new trial after he was convicted of seditious conspiracy for Jan 6 attack
Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes has filed a motion for a new trial after he was convicted in November of seditious conspiracy for his role leading the far-right group in the weeks leading up to the attack on the US Capitol on January 6.
The cases mark the first successful jury convictions of Americans on treason-related charges in decades, some of the biggest trials yet in the federal government’s sprawling criminal investigation into the Capitol attack.
Alex Woodward24 January 2023 23:00
‘Pence’s documents mishap scrambles the GOP’s efforts to go after Biden’
The Independent’s Eric Garcia writes that Republican plans to target Biden for his classified documents case was always going to be difficult, but news of Mike Pence’s own incident punctures a hole in their efforts:
Alex Woodward24 January 2023 22:28
Lindsey Graham says he would be ‘shocked’ to find anything ‘sinister’ with Biden documents case
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham told reporters on Tuesday that he would be “shocked” if the discovery of Obama-era classified documents at his residence and office revealed anything “sinister”.
He said his concerns amount to those he had with Trump’s possession of documents from his time in the White House, which he fought with federal agencies about returning. “Why did you do it, what were in the documents, how were they held, who had access to them,” Mr Graham said.
“Let me just say this,” he added. “I’ve known President Biden a long time. I’ll be shocked if there’s anything sinister here.”
Alex Woodward24 January 2023 21:23
Fox News mocked for its latest culture war obsession: the ‘woke’ Xbox
After getting M&Ms to drop their spokescandies amid right-wing claims that the cartoon chocolate characters weren’t attractive enough, Fox News personalities have identified a new target in the culture wars: Xbox.
Alex Woodward24 January 2023 21:15
ICYMI: ‘Diamond & Silk’ vlogger Lynette Hardaway’s cause of death revealed
The death of Diamond – one half of the pro-Trump duo Diamond and Silk– prompted widespread speculation following the pair’s amplification of Covid-19 conspiracy theories, including Silk’s own remarks at her sister’s memorial service.
A death certificate obtained by the Associated Press found that she died from a heart condition.
Alex Woodward24 January 2023 21:00
Trump baselessly links Elaine Chao to Biden documents in racist attack
Trump has revived his thinly veiled racist attack against his former transportation secretary Elaine Chao, whom the former president baselessly connected to Joe Biden’s classified documents case because of right-wing media scrutiny involving their alleged storage in Washington DC’s Chinatown.
His statement on Truth Social from 23 January involves a series of disconnected right-wing media claims and conspiracy theories, all spuriously intertwined by Mr Trump’s ongoing attacks against Ms Chao and her husband, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Alex Woodward24 January 2023 20:45
Mike Pompeo blasted for saying Jamal Khashoggi was an ‘activist’ and received too much media sympathy
Trump’s former secretary of state Mike Pompeo has been strongly condemned for his dismissive statements about murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
He said that the 59-year Washington Post columnist did not deserve to be killed by the Saudi authorities but that his murder did not surprise him.
“To be clear, Khashoggi was a journalist to the extent that I and many other public figures are journalists,” Mr Pompeo writes in Never Give an Inch: Fighting for the America I Love, calling him an “activist who supported the losing team” and whose killing received too much media attention.
His widow told The Independent’s Andrew Buncombe that Mr Pompeo’s remarks are “shameful”.
“I want to ask Mr Pompeo, did he ever meet my husband? Did he ever talk to him? Where is he getting this false information,” Hanan El-Atr said.
Alex Woodward24 January 2023 20:00