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Jan 6 hearings today: Donald Trump attends Ivana Trump’s funeral as judge warns Steve Bannon lawyers


Jan 6 committee member says Trump attempting to witness tamper is ‘highly improper’

After months trying to have his trial delayed, far-right agitator and Trump ally Steve Bannon is now in court facing a charge of criminal contempt of Congress, with prosecutors arguing he simply “decided he was above the law” when refusing to comply with a subpoena from the 6 January select committee.

“This case is not about what happened on Jan. 6,” said assistant US attorney Amanda Vaughan in court. “This case is about the defendant thumbing his nose at the orderly processes of our government.”

Meanwhile, Rudy Giuliani has been ordered by a judge to testify to the grand jury convened in Fulton County, Georgia to hear evidence on Donald Trump’s efforts to throw out Joe Biden’s victory in that state.

Tomorrow will see the eighth of the 6 Jaunary committee’s summer hearings, this one focusing on Mr Trump’s hours of inaction at the White House while a mob of his supporters violently attacked Congress.


Arizona Republicans censure key Jan 6 witness

ICYMI: Rusty Bowers, Republican speaker of the Arizona state House, was censured by his own party on Tuesday as his political punishment for testifying to the January 6 committee continues.

The 69-year-old Republican lawmaker is likely to lose his primary election on 2 August against a Trump loyalist who has claimed that Satan helped Joe Biden steal the election from Donald Trump.

But that isn’t enough revenge for allies of the former president in the state, including GOP state party chair Kelli Ward, another far-right supporter of election fraud conspiracy theories: the state party has now formally voted to censure Mr Bowers, a largely meaningless gesture that states that he is no longer in “good standing” with the party.


Donald Trump, Melania and his kids attend Ivana Trump’s funeral

Donald Trump, his current wife Melania, and his three children paid their respect to Mr Trump’s first wife Ivana yesterday in New York City at a funeral mass.

Before heading out to pay his respect, Mr Trump said: “A very sad day, but at the same time a celebration of a wonderful and beautiful life.”

“This will not be easy!!!” the former president said on his social media platform Truth Social.

He was joined in by Donald Jr, Ivanka, and Eric to commemorate the 1980s style icon and businesswoman credited to be behind Mr Trump’s empire which paved his road to presidency.

Her gold-coloured coffin was taken into St Vincent Ferrer Roman Catholic Church on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.

Former US president Donald Trump and his wife Melania Trump along with their son Barron Trump and Ivanka Trump, Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr. and their children watch as the casket of Ivana Trump is put in a hearse outside of St. Vincent Ferrer Roman Catholic Church during her funeral in New York City on Wednesday

(Getty Images)

Former president Donald Trump and Melania Trump exit the funeral of Ivana Trump at St Vincent Ferrer Roman Catholic Church in New York City

(Getty Images)

Donald Trump and wife Melania Trump follow the casket of Ivana Trump out of St. Vincent Ferrer Roman Catholic Church during her funeral

(Getty Images)


ICYMI: Donald Trump has seized on a recent Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling which outlaws ballot drop boxes in future elections, claiming that the court’s ruling that the Wisconsin Election Commission exceeded its authority by authorising drop box use as a pandemic mitigation measure means President Joe Biden’s win in state is invalid.

The former president is now pressuring Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos to do something about this. “So what’s Speaker Robin Vos doing on the Great Wisconsin Supreme Court Ruling declaring hundreds of thousands of Drop Box votes to be illegal?” he asked in a statement.

In reality, the court ruling did not invalidate a single vote cast by drop box. And neither Mr Vos nor the Wisconsin legislature have the authority to retroactively invalidate votes or rescind electoral votes.

But that has not stopped Mr Trump from arguing to the contrary.

Andrew Feinberg has more.


Giuliani called to appear in Georgia election probe

ICYMI: Rudy Giuliani has been ordered by a New York Supreme Court judge to appear for testimony in front of a grand jury investigating election tampering in Georgia.

Mr Giuliani, who was part of a legal team assembled by Donald Trump to challenge the results of the 2020 presidential election, failed to appear at the “show cause” hearing in which he was due to challenge a subpoena that called him to testify.

Richard Hall has the story.


The mystery of the Secret Service’s Jan 6 text exchange

ICYMI: The Secret Service has only provided one text exchange to the DHS inspector general despite receiving a request for a month of texts from 24 members of staff.

The news was revealed in a letter to the January 6 committee, CNN reported.

Assistant Director Ronald Rowe said in a letter to the panel that “the Secret Service submitted the responsive records it identified, namely, a text message conversation from former US Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund to former Secret Service Uniformed Division Chief Thomas Sullivan requesting assistance on January 6, 2021, and advised the agency did not have any further records responsive to the DHS OIG’s request for text messages”.

California Democrat and January 6 panel member Zoe Lofgren told MSNBC on Tuesday that the committee had been sent “one text message” that she hadn’t reviewed at that time. She said the committee would be “pursuing more information as a committee soon”.

Read more from Gustaf Kilander:


Why the Garland memo matters

ICYMI: In a 25 May internal memo, Attorney General Merrick Garland has extended a 2020 Department of Justice (DOJ) policy instituted by his predecessor, Trump Attorney General Bill Barr. The policy states that investigators must get approval for any investigations into presidential candidates or their staff with the country’s top law enforcement official.

The memo was obtained by MSNBC, with host Rachel Maddow revealing it on Monday night.

According to the policy, investigators must obtain written approval from the attorney general before opening an investigation into people who have declared that they are running for either president or vice president. The policy also applies to presidential campaigns, as well as senior members of campaigns for president, such as advisors.

The news comes as Mr Garland is facing increasing pressure to bring charges against former President Donald Trump as the House Select Committee investigating January 6 reveals more and more about his actions in relation to the 2021 insurrection.

While he’s yet to announce a 2024 campaign, Mr Trump has hinted on several occasions that he’ll run again.

Gustaf Kilander has the story.


Republican Senators really don’t want to talk about same-sex marriage

Even after 47 Republican members of the House of Representatives voted to codify same-sex marriage into law on Tuesday, many Republican Senators would rather talk about anything else.

Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced that he had tasked Senator Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin to talk to Republican Senators about the legislation.

Eric Garcia has the story.


Exactly who is the Secret Service protecting?

Did personal loyalty to Donald Trump blind the actions of some Secret Service agents.

Andrew Buncombe investigates.


Bipartisan legislation unveiled to prevent the next Jan 6

Following Donald Trump’s assault on US elections and attempts to subvert the peaceful transfer of power in the chaotic aftermath of his 2020 loss, a bipartisan group of senators has unveiled plans for legislation to block future candidates from trying to steal a presidential election.

The proposals from Republican Senator Susan Collins and Democratic Senator Joe Manchin – joined by more than a dozen other senators from both parties, after months of planning – would update an archaic 19th century law that Mr Trump and his allies sought to exploit by pressuring Mike Pence to block the certification of votes during a joint session of Congress to affirm Joe Biden’s election on 6 January, 2021.

The Independent’s Alex Woodward has the details.


Garland asked about possibility of charging former president

Attorney General Merrick Garland was asked about the possibility of charging a former president related to January 6 2021: “No person is above the law in this country.”


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