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Jan 6 hearings latest: Trump adviser Steve Bannon’s trial begins as Committee chair contracts Covid


Roger Stone claims Steve Bannon blackmailed Trump to get pardon

Jan 6 select committee chair Bennie Thompson has tested positive for Covid-19, it has been announced. The Democratic congressman says he is suffering only mild symptoms, and the panel’s primetime hearing on Thursday is expected to go ahead as planned.

The hearing will reportedly feature two former White House aides who will testify as to what the ex-president was doing while a mob of his supporters violently stormed the US Capitol.

The hearing, which committee member Jamie Raskin said would be a “moment of reckoning” for the US, is set to focus on Mr Trump’s inaction during the attack. The panel has already showcased witness testimony about the former president’s behaviour during the riot, including that he refused to send a tweet calling the crowd off and that he may have suggested they were right to call for Mike Pence to be hanged.

Meanwhile, at the start of the trial of Trump ally Steve Bannon for criminal contempt of Congress, the former president’s longtime lieutenant and hardcore right-wing agitator claimed to have still been negotiating with the panel when the charge against him was brought. Prosecutors say he deliberately “decided he was above the law”.


‘MAGA movement is dying’ warns Dr Oz

Pennsylvania’s Senate race may represent a setback for Donald Trump’s “MAGA” wing of the Republican Party, and his chosen candidate seems to know it.

Dr Mehmet Oz declared in a fundraising email, first reported by The Daily Beast, on Monday that the former president’s political movement was “dying” as he trails Democrat John Fetterman in both poll numbers and fundraising totals in the hotly-contested Rust Belt state.


Georgia voter water bottle ban faces legal challenge

A group of voting rights advocates in Georgia have asked a judge to block enforcement of a measure that outlaws handing out food and water to people standing in line to vote, part of a sweeping election law that has faced widespread criticism and a series of legal challenges from civil rights groups.


Buttigieg shuts down GOP congressman for claiming electric vehicles too expensive

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg came prepared with a list of prices to a hearing where a GOP congressman claimed electric vehicles are too expensive.

Pennsylvania Republican Representative Scott Perry said suggestions have been made that Americans “should buy an electric vehicle and absolve themselves of that 80 per cent increase per gallon”.

“Just look at a Kelly Blue Book, the price of an [electric vehicle] is about $55,000”, he said.

But Mr Buttigieg was ready with his own figures, and better yet they were American-made.


Georgia fake electors fighting election probe subpoenas

A group of Georgia Republicans who have been informed that they are at risk of being indicted in an investigation into whether former President Donald Trump and others illegally interfered in the 2020 election in Georgia are fighting subpoenas to testify before a special grand jury.

All 11 signed a certificate declaring falsely that then-President Donald Trump had won the 2020 presidential election and declaring themselves the state’s “duly elected and qualified” electors even though Joe Biden had won the state and a slate of Democratic electors was certified. They filed a motion Tuesday to quash their subpoenas, calling them “unreasonable and oppressive.”


Russia preparing sham vote as pretext to annex Ukrainian territory says NSC

Russia is preparing to illegally annex territory it has captured during its’ unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby has said.

Speaking at the daily White House press briefing on Tuesday, Mr Kirby said Russia is “laying the groundwork” for annexation “in direct violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty,” and pointed to “ample evidence in the intelligence and in the public domain” showing Moscow’s intentions.

Andrew Feinberg reports from Washington, DC.


Herschel Walker claims to be former FBI agent

Georgia Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker falsely claimed that he used to be an FBI agent and told a crowd about how he once came close to killing a man in a newly-resurfaced footage.

Mr Walker has repeatedly mentioned having a varied past in law enforcement over the course of his campaign, despite reporting showing that the assertion is untrue.


Who are ex-Trump aides Matt Pottinger and Sarah Matthews, set to testify at the next hearing?

When the January 6 committee’s next prime-time hearing airs on Thursday, lawmakers will hope to show how Donald Trump’s “dereliction of duty” on the day the US Capital was attacked was a key element of what unfolded.

On Thursday evening, the panel will reportedly have the help of two star witnesses from within the former US president’s White House, who sources familiar with the matter informed CNN of on Monday night.

According to reports, the pair are Matthew Pottinger, a former deputy national security adviser, and Sarah Matthews, a former press aide.

Here’s what we know about the pair:


More Republicans are prepared to turn away from Trump over Jan 6, says pollster

The Independent’s Andrew Buncombe spoke with Sarah Longwell.


Despite anger of 9/11 families, Trump tells golfers to ‘take money now’ from Saudi-backed league

Donald Trump has urged golfers to “take the money now” from LIV Golf, while ignoring pleas from the families of 9/11 victims to shun the Saudi-backed breakaway league.

The Trump National Golf Bedminster course in New Jersey is hosting the next event in the LIV series from 29 to 31 July, and Mr Trump urged golfers to turn their backs on the PGA Tour.


AOC, other lawmakers arrested amid protest for abortion rights

A group of lawmakers, including Reps Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar, Andy Levin, Cori Bush, Bonnie Watson Coleman, Jackie Speier, Alma Adams, Veronica Escobar, and Carolyn B. Maloney, were detained and arrested on Friday outside of the Supreme Court amid an abortion rights demonstration.

In an official statement from Capitol Police, they reported 34 arrests for “Crowding, Obstructing or Incommoding (DC Code § 22–1307).”


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