Trump news latest: 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”.


‘Sorry Jared, there’s nothing I can do’ Murdoch told Kushner after Fox News called Arizona for Biden

In his new book, Jared Kushner writes about the moment that he called Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch on election night in November 2020 to ask why the network had just called Arizona for President Joe Biden.

Breaking History: A White House Memoir by Mr Kushner is set to publish on 23 August. New York Times reporter Kenneth Vogel tweeted several of the pages from the book on Wednesday.


Breaking: Manchin and Schumer reach deal on major climate and health care bill

Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia said he has reached an agreement with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on a legislation to lower prescription drug prices, raise taxes, combat climate change and invest in renewable energy.

Eric Garcia reports for The Independent from Capitol Hill.


RNC warns Trump they will stop paying legal bill if he runs for president

ABC News reports that Republican leaders hope that Donald Trump might be dissuaded from announcing another run for the White House too soon by the prospect of losing funding for his legal payments.

The network cites an RNC official.

Since October 2021, the Republican National Committee has paid nearly $2 million to law firms representing Trump as part of his defense against personal litigation and government investigations.

But an RNC official told ABC News that as soon as Trump would announce he is running for president, the payments would stop because the party has a “neutrality policy” that prohibits it from taking sides in the presidential primary.


Report says Cassidy Hutchinson cooperating with Department of Justice probe

Former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson is cooperating with the Department of Justice’s criminal investigation into the January 6 attack on the US Capitol, according to a report.

Ms Hutchinson, a former top adviser to then-president Donald Trump’s White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, gave explosive testimony to the House committee that is also investigating the violent events of January 6 last month. Investigators from the Justice Department reached out to Ms Hutchinson after her testimony to the House committee, reports ABC News.

The outlet also reported that the “extent of her cooperation was not immediately clear.”

Graeme Massie has the latest.


Man charged in connection with attack on Officer Brian Sicknick take plea deal

A man linked to an assault on Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick who died the day after the January 6 attack on Congress pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor counts today as part of a plea deal.

George Tanios, a former sandwich shop owner from West Virginia, had faced an indictment alleging that he conspired to assault Mr Sicknick as well as two other officers as he was in possession of a can of chemical spray that his co-defendent, Julian Khater, used on the officers.

Mr Tanios admitted to buy two cans of pepper spray and two cans of bear spray, and giving one of the pepper sprays to Mr Khater before they got to DC and allowing him to get a can of bear spray out of his backpack while on restricted grounds, NBC News reports.

While the charges he faces have a penalty of one year in prison, Mr Tanios’ guideline range is zero to six months and he has already served five months.

Mr Khater is considering his own plea deal. He would need to plead guilty to two counts of assault of a federal officer with a deadly or dangerous weapon. The sentencing guideline is between 78 and 97 months (approximately six and a half to eight years).


Days after News Corp editorials slammed former president Fox News didn’t broadcast Trump DC speech

Donald Trump and Mike Pence were both in Washington, DC on Tuesday to deliver speeches at separate events, with this being the first time the former president has returned to the nation’s capital since he left office.

While both events generated a lot of media attention and speculation about 2024 presidential runs, CNN’s chief media correspondent Brian Stelter noted a particular difference in their coverage from one network in particular — Fox News.


Student loses defamation case against media outlets over confrontation with Native American activist

A federal judge has dismissed five defamation lawsuits brought against national media companies by a Kentucky student over a highly publicised 2019 incident at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC.

Nick Sandmann, then a 16-year-old student at Covington Catholic High School, appeared in a viral video that showed him standing face-to-face with a Native American activist.

That man, Vietnam veteran Nathan Phillips, sang a traditional song and beat a drum as Mr Sandmann, wearing a red MAGA hat, stood and smiled at him.


Trump threatens to sue CNN for branding him a ‘liar’

Donald Trump is threatening to sue CNN for referring to his false claims about the 2020 election as lies.

“I have notified CNN of my intent to file a lawsuit over their repeated defamatory statements against me,” Mr Trump announced on Wednesday in a statement from his Save America political action committee. ‘I will also be commencing actions against other media outlets who have defamed me and defrauded the public regarding the overwhelming evidence of fraud throughout the 2020 Election.”

Josh Marcus has the latest on this breaking story.


Hawley claims humiliating footage of him helped his fundraising

Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri, who was widely mocked last week when footage showed him fleeing through the Capitol from the mob he’d helped incite, told CNN that he does not regret any of his actions on January 6, 2021.

“I don’t regret anything I did on that day,” Mr Hawley said in an interview on Wednesday. “It’s a privilege to be attacked by the January 6 committee. I want to say thank you for the all the help with my fundraising, it’s been tremendous.”


Biden offers prisoner exchange to bring Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan home

President Joe Biden has offered to release convicted Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout in exchange for the return of Americans Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan, according to a report.

The Independent’s Andrew Buncombe has the latest.

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