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Trump news – latest: DoJ ‘may force ex-president’s aides to testify about Jan 6’

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9/11 families launch ad criticising Trump for hosting Saudi golf tournament

Department of Justice prosecutors are readying the legal fight to force aides and White House officials from the Donald Trump administration to testify in the ongoing investigation, people aware of the matter have said.

The former president’s aides could be asked to testify about his conversations and actions around the January 6 insurrection.

Attorney general Merrick Garland has confirmed that the department has no qualms about any political blowback as a result of criminally indicting him.

This comes at the time Mr Trump is preparing to welcome the hugely contentious LIV Golf series to his resort in Bedminster, New Jersey. Both he and his son Eric are set to join a pro-am round today.

The fact the league is backed by Saudi money has disgusted the families of 9/11 victims who have long called on the US government to make clear what it knows about the alleged role of Saudi Arabia in the attacks.

In comments to ESPN, the former president called the attack “horrible” and said “nobody’s gotten to the bottom of 9/11, unfortunately”.

Meanwhile, Mr Trump has threatened to sue CNN for branding him a liar and calling his unfounded claims about the 2020 election the “Big Lie”.

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Trump still using US presidential seal as a brand logo

Donald Trump was spotted using the US Presidential Seal on numerous items featured at the LIV Golf tournament at his Bedminister golf course.

According to The Washington Post, participants in the Saudi-backed golf tournament dried themselves with towels and traversed the field in golf carts adorned with the presidential seal.

This is illegal under US law. The presidential seal is not meant to be used in any way that could give ” a false impression of sponsorship or approval” by the government. Mr Trump has been criticised before for using the seal as a logo at his golf resorts.

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DoJ ‘may force ex-president’s aides to testify about Jan 6’

Prosecutors from the Department of Justice are readying a legal fight to force former aides and ex-White House officials from the Donald Trump administration to testify in the ongoing investigation, people aware of the matter said, according to a report by CNN.

The former president’s aides could be asked to testify about Mr Trump’s conversations and actions around the Jan 6 insurrection.

According to attorney general Merrick Garland, Mr Trump is not considered to be beyond the judicial reach of the probe despite asserting his executive privilege from the presidential role.

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Trump wants court to declare he has ‘absolute immunity’

Donald Trump has asked a court to rule that he has “absolute immunity” in all civil suits related to the Capitol riots that took place on 6 January last year.

In a brief filed with the US Court of Appeals, Mr Trump’s lawyer has urged the court to reverse the February ruling by judge Amit Mehta, which denied a motion to dismiss lawsuits related to the attack on Capitol.

Citing presidential immunity, Mr Trump’s lawyers have sought dismissal of the possibility of civil suits against him entirely, Politico reported.

Read the full story here:

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DoJ can’t avoid prosecuting Trump after revelations from Jan 6 hearings, says Elizabeth Warren

Senator Elizabeth Warren has said she does not see how the Department of Justice can do anything but indict former President Donald Trump after recent revelations from the House Select Committee investigating the Capitol riot.

The senator said could not see a scenario in which the Department of Justice can proceed with their investigation into the Capitol riot without pursuing charges against Mr Trump.

“Based on the House investigation I don’t see how they could avoid that,” she said. “Ultimately the Department of Justice will make their own independent decision about whether they have enough evidence to prosecute some or all of the people involved in the January 6 insurrection. DOJ has to make their own independent decision and that means independent of the politics. That’s how the justice system works.”

Read the full story here:

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Jan 6 committee interviews Steven Mnuchin, pursues Trump Cabinet

The House Committee has initiated negotiations to speak with several former members of the Donald Trump cabinet and already interviewed the former treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin this week.

Panel members are probing the days after the Capitol insurrection and discussions on whether there were attempts to try and remove the then-president from office.

Mr Mnuchin was questioned on conversations among the cabinet secretaries to likely rake the constitutional process in the 25th Amendment to remove the former president after the attack on the Capitol, one of the people said.

The committee is also in active talks to interview ex-secretary of state Mike Pompeo, who is likely to appear for the investigation in the coming days.

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‘Nobody’s got to the bottom of 9/11’ claims Trump as he hosts Saudi LIV Golf event

Donald Trump claimed that ‘Nobody’s got to the bottom of 9/11’ as he hosted the Saudi Arabian-backed LIV Golf event at his country club in New Jersey.

The former president was asked about the families of the terror attack victims planning to protest the event in Bedminster because of the link to the Middle East country, and replied “Nobody’s gotten to the bottom of 9/11, unfortunately.”

Graeme Massie reports on the former president’s comments as 9/11 victims’ families protest the tournament.

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Obamas to return to White House for first time for unveiling of portraits

Barack Obama‘s presidential portrait will be unveiled at the White House in a September ceremony hosted by his former No. 2, President Joe Biden.

Portraits of the former president and Michelle Obama will be presented in the East Room as is traditional, on 7 September, according to Mr Obama’s office.

It will mark the first time the former first lady has returned to the White House since her husband left office in January 2017.

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CNN given 10-day ultimatum to stop pointing out Trump’s election lies or he’ll sue

Donald Trump’s spokesperson has given CNN 10 days to stop pointing out the former president’s election lies or he will sue them.

On Thursday, Liz Harrington told the right-wing One America News Network that Mr Trump has “truth and facts on his side” and is prepared to take action against CNN.

“Now they are spreading lies about President Trump and the 2020 election when the truth and facts are on President Trump’s side. The truth will always win in the end,” she said.

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Report says Steve Mnuchin has been interviewed by Jan 6 committee

The House January 6 select committee’s investigation is now gathering evidence from more of former president Donald Trump’s Cabinet members in hopes of learning whether they seriously considered declaring him incapacitated after he incited a riotous mob to attack the US Capitol.

According to multiple reports, the panel has interviewed Steven Mnuchin, the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice producer who served as Mr Trump’s treasury secretary from 2017 until the end of his term on 20 January 2021.

Andrew Feinberg reports from Washington, DC.

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Key texts between Trump homeland security officials before Jan 6 missing – Report

A critical exchange of text messages between two top security officials Chad Wolf and Ken Cuccinelli from the Donald Trump administration before the January 6 attack took place on the US capitol is missing, people aware of the matter have said, reported The Washington Post.

The report said that the messages between the top officials of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) — the acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf and acting deputy secretary Ken Cuccinelli — were lost “in a reset” of their official phones when they left their jobs in January last year.

This comes at a time the House Committee officials have learnt that the text message exchange between the US Secret Service agents were also deleted more than a year ago and may never be recovered, diluting a critical firsthand account of the events leading up to the violent attacks on the historic building.

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