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Trump news today: Ex-president tried to cling to power for financial gain, says Jan 6 member


Trump’s ex-defense secretary says he didn’t ask for 10,000 Capitol troops

Donald Trump has lashed out at reports that he is now the subject of a US Department of Justice investigation into his attempts to subvert the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.

Attorney General Merrick Garland said yesterday that the department has no qualms about any political blowback as a result of criminally indicting Mr Trump. The department is reportedly reaching out to January 6 committee hearing witnesses including former Mark Meadows aide Cassidy Hutchinson.

The committee last night released audio from sworn testimony in which Mr Trump’s former acting defence secretary, Christopher Miller, confirms the president gave no order for thousands of National Guard to be deployed in advance of the Capitol riot. The audio contradicts claims made by Mr Trump, ex-staffers — even Mr Miller himself.

Meanwhile, Rep Jamie Raskin told C-Span he believes: “Donald Trump was really engaged in a lot of for-profit money-making activities in his administration, which would also explain his determination to stay in office at all costs.”

In other news, the former president has threatened to sue CNN for branding him a liar and calling his unfounded claims about the 2020 election the “Big Lie”.


Analysis: Republicans bury their heads in the sand (again)

In today’s Inside Washington dispatch, Eric Garcia writes that Donald Trump’s first DC speech since he left office has forced Republicans back into the awkward posture they took for much of his presidency: claiming they had not seen or heard statements that had received near-inescapable coverage:

The former president made headlines yesterday when he suggested that homeless people be housed in suburban tent cities, and that the US should combat drug dealers by emulating authoritarian countries by bringing in the death penalty for drugs offenses. “If you look at countries throughout the world, the ones that don’t have a drug problem are those that institute a very quick trial death penalty sentence for drug dealers,” he said.

I asked Kevin McCarthy if he agreed. The Minority Leader asked me in return when Trump floated that proposal. I reminded him that he’d just said it — at a conference McCarthy himself had attended. McCarthy responded by equivocating about “what the Democrats have done at the border” with drugs, adding that fentanyl is now the number one killer of Americans.

Read the full piece below.


Justice Department to investigate Trump’s actions in criminal probe: Report

The Justice department is extending the ongoing investigation of January 6 riots to investigate Donald Trump’s actions under the criminal probe, said four people aware of the matter according to a report by The Washington Post.

Two of the cited sources have said that the prosecutors questioning the witnesses, including the two top aides to former vice president Mike Pence, before a grand jury have enquired about conversations with the former president, his lawyers, and others from the inner circle who pushed to substitute Mr Trump’s allies for electors from some states Joe Biden won, the report added.

According to the report, the prosecutors have probed hours of detailed questions on the meetings Mr Trump chaired in December 2020 and January 2021, his push his campaign to overturn the elections.


Cheney ad calls out opponents’ stance on Trump’s ‘Big Lie’

Liz Cheney’s re-election campaign has launched a new ad contrasting her rejection of Donald Trump’s lies about the 2020 election with the stances taken by her primary opponents.

Ms Cheney, who was ousted from the House Republican leadership last year, is campaigning to remain as the lone Wyoming representative in the House, but she’s facing stiff competition from candidates who haven’t rejected former President Donald Trump.

Gustaf Kilander reports from Washington, DC.


Biden compares his ‘quick recovery’ to Trump’s ‘severe’ illness

Joe Biden compared his “quick recovery” to former President Donald Trump’s “severe” illness in a speech to the nation from the White House after he tested negative for Covid-19 and returned to work in person.

The 79-year-old said he was infected by the BA.5 variant, which is connected to the Omicron variant of the virus that wreaked havoc across the US this winter.


Trump lashes out at ‘disinformation’ after report of DoJ probe

Former president Donald Trump on Wednesday took to his own Truth Social platform to air a string of grievances following reports that the Department of Justice is investigating his push to overturn the 2020 election results.

Writing on the platform owned by his nascent Trump Media and Technology Group, Mr Trump assailed the report as “more disinformation by the Democrats” and compared the probe into his post-election conduct to the long-running investigation into his 2016 campaign’s ties to the Russian government, the House impeachment probe into his 2019 attempt to blackmail Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, and his second impeachment over the January 6 attacks.

“People forget, this is all about a Rigged and Stolen Election. But rather than go after the people that Rigged and Stole it, they go after the people that are seeking Honesty and Truth, and have Freedom of Speech, and many other defenses, on their side,” he wrote.

Andrew Feinberg has more:


Georgia poll shows toss-ups in crucial races

A new Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll showed that incumbent Georgia Republican Governor Brian Kemp and Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock have narrow leads.

The survey shows that 48 per cent of likely voters say they support Trump apostate Mr Kemp, compared to 43 per cent who say they support former state legislator Stacey Abrams. The two are in a rematch after Mr Kemp narrowly beat Ms Abrams in 2018. Ms Abrams never fully conceded her race to Mr Kemp because of allegations of voter suppression.

Similarly, Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock – who won a special election last year – leads Donald Trump’s chosen candidate former University of Georgia running back, Herschel Walker, 46 per cent to 43 per cent. Mr Walker’s erratic behaviour and a series of personal scandals have put what was thought to be an eminently winnable race in jeopardy for the GOP.

Eric Garcia has the story.


Voices: The big difference between Biden and Trump’s Covid experiences

Biden used drugs and diagnostic tools that are all available to the public, while Trump chose a treatment not offered to everyday Americans at the time.

Trump had a ‘brush with death’, while Biden isolated with mild symptoms at home.

And their victory laps looked very different, too.


Senate passes computer CHIPS bill to be more competitive with China

The Senate passed legislation to support research and development in the computer chips and semiconductor industry, with nearly every Democrat voting for the legislation and a large number of Republicans joining them. The bill’s passage tees up a vote in the House of Representatives.

The legislation is meant to support manufacturing of semiconductor chips in the United States as a means for the US to compete with China and create jobs.

Eric Garcia has the details.


‘The View’ apologises to Turning Point USA

The View issued an apology on air to Turning Point USA after the daytime talk show was threatened with a cease and desist for incorrectly stating earlier this week that a group of neo-Nazis who held a small rally outside of the conservative group’s conference in Florida were tied to the event.


Capitol riot co-defendant charged in assault of police officers pleads guilty

A co-defendant has pleaded guilty to reduced charges in the Capitol riot assault of three police officers, including Brian Sicknick, who died after the insurrection.

George Tanios pleaded guilty to two misdemeanours – trespassing and disorderly conduct on restricted Capitol grounds.

That was a reduction from what the 40-year-old initially faced – 10 counts including felony charges such as assaulting officers, obstructing Congress’s certification of the 2020 election results, and rioting, according to The Washington Post.


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