Trump news – live: Ex-president mentions Ray Epps, floats ‘Fedsurrection’ January 6 conspiracy

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·40-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Donald Trump will share a stage in Arizona for his first rally of 2022 with a host of allies who have amplified baseless conspiracy theories about the 2020 presidential election, including Mike Lindell, as well as members of Congress who objected to the certification of Joe Biden’s victory.

The former president also celebrated an announcement that US Rep John Katko, among Republican lawmakers who voted for his impeachment for inciting a riot fuelled by the same false election narratives, will not seek re-election.

Meanwhile, the federal government has brought a charge of “seditious conspiracy” against the leader of the Oath Keepers, a far-right militia that prosecutors argue played a role in organising an attack on the US Capitol on 6 January last year.

House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy has refused to provide the committee investigating the attack with information about his conversations with Mr Trump. US Rep Liz Cheney, one of the committee’s only two Republicans, said Mr McCarthy is attempting to “cover-up” what happened, and that the committee would evaluate other options for obtaining his testimony.

Follow live updates below

Key points

  • Trump holds first 2022 rally in Arizona

  • First sedition charges handed down in Capitol riot cases

  • January 6 committee subpoenas Kevin McCarthy

  • Trump attacks Democrats, disloyal Republicans at rally in Arizona

  • Trump wholeheartedly embraces ‘Fedsurrection’ conspiracy theory for January 6

MyPillow CEO gripes about dwindling support for 2020 election lies

05:00 , John Bowden

MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell was the first of several Trump loyalists to speak at the former president’s rally on Saturday. He used his time to re-espouse lies about the 2020 election, while carefully avoiding the kind of statement in the past that have ended him in legal jeopardy.

Specifically, the businessman centered his fire on Fox News and other right-leaning figures and entities for abandoning Mr Trump’s efforts to change history regarding the 2020 election, while not mentioning his claims about voting machine software that landed him a $1.3 billion defamation suit.

“When was the last time you saw anyone on Fox talk about the 2020 election?” he asked fired-up Trump supporters during his address.

In subsequent comments about the state’s governor, Doug Ducey, he blamed the GOP leader for “obstruction” of Mr Trump’s efforts to overturn the election and referred to the governor as “rotten”.

Rally ends with Trump vowing GOP will take back White House in 2024

04:32 , John Bowden

The former president ended his nearly two hour-long rally in Arizona after repeatedly attacking his political foes on both sides of the aisle and vowing that his faction of the GOP would return to power in the next presidential election cycle.

While stopping short of personally promising to run again, the former president mocked President Joe Biden’s unpopularity and said that he would be a one-term president.

"In 2024, we are going to take back the White House,” said Mr Trump.

“Together, we’re standing up against some of the most sinister forces, entrenched interests, and corrupt opponents that anyone on our shore has ever seen before,” he told his followers.

“Our nation belongs to you,” he told them.

Trump wholeheartedly embraces ‘Fedsurrection’ conspiracy theory for January 6

04:19 , John Bowden

Ex-President Donald Trump signaled his embrace of one of the many conspiracy theories which have erupted in the wake of the Capitol riot on Saturday when he questioned how many undercover federal agents were present during the riot.

Speaking to supporters, he wondered aloud “exactly how many of those president at the Capitol complex on January 6 were FBI confidential informants” or otherwise working with the bureau.

The quip was a clear nod to the “Fedsurrection” conspiracy theory, which posits (without a shred of evidence) that federal informants somehow drove the crowd of thousands of Trump supporters to battle police and break through barricades and windows to breach the grounds of the Capitol during the attack.

In particular, the former president mentioned Ray Epps, a supporter of his whose charges were dropped by the Justice Department as it was never proven that he physically entered the Capitol building during the riot. Mr Epps’ charges are a central part of the conspiracy theories surrounding January 6, as some have questioned why he was spared from charges while others were not. Mr Epps has denied any involvement with any federal agencies.

Mr Trump previously mentioned the theory in a statement released by his office several weeks ago, but Saturday’s remarks were the first time he has spread the conspiracy at a public event.

Election lie supporters made up Trump’s pre-speech lineup

04:02 , John Bowden

The lineup for Mr Trump’s rally in Arizona on Saturday was a who’s who of the former president’s most vocal supporters, all of whom fully embraced his false theories for why he was defeated by Joe Biden in 2020.

Among those who spoke were MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, currently facing a defamation suit to the tune of $1.3 billion for making false claims about a voting machine company, as well as Kelli Ward, head of Arizona’s chapter of the GOP.

Not on the speaking roster were any members of Arizona’s congressional delegation, the state’s governor, or any other members of state government.

Trump gives allies shoutouts at rally

03:36 , John Bowden

The former president moved on from his attacks aimed at various political enemies to tout a number of his political allies on Saturday while he spoke to supporters in Arizona.

Among those who he thanked were Turning Point USA’s Charlie Kirk, his former ambassador to Germany, Richard Grennell, and Kelli Ward, head of Arizona’s chapter of the Republican Party.

While sounding like many of his previous speeches, the remarks served to enunciate which members of the GOP power sphere are currently within the former president’s good graces, which could be significant if he remains atop the GOP and the field of likely presidential primary challengers in 2024.

Trump interrupts rally for bizarre video about Letitia James

03:05 , John Bowden

In a moment that could only be described as showing his hand, Mr Trump interrupted his rally on Saturday night in Arizona to play for the crowd a custom-made video meant to highlight statements made by Letitia James, the New York state Attorney General.

The video had the effect of highlighting Ms James, who is pursuing Mr Trump in a fraud case that is currently underway, as an enemy the likes of which is apparently vexing Mr Trump in a way that no other political rival is currently managing to achieve.

Ms James was one of a long list of figures on both the right and left who were targeted for criticism for Mr Trump at his rally, but had the distinction of being the only politician in the US to be the target of a pre-produced video meant to highlight her work against Mr Trump.

Trump swipes at Andrew Cuomo for resignation

02:50 , John Bowden

Former President Donald Trump took a moment to mock deposed ex-Governor Andew Cuomo of New York, one of his top political rivals throughout 2020 and parts of his presidency, at Saturday’s rally.

The former governor resigned after a state attorney general-led investigation found that numerous women’s accusations of inappropriate sexual activity, including criminal behaviour, allegedly committed by the governor were credible.

“By the way, how did Cuomo do as governor?” asked the former president.

“It’s really a shame, what happened to our great places,” said Mr Trump.

The attack came as he was telling supporters that he was “the anti-mandate president”, and was proud of “fiercely resisting mandates of any kind”, referring to vaccine mandates and other public health guidelines aimed at fighting Covid-19.

Trump lights up Joe Biden at rally

02:32 , John Bowden

The former president took aim at his successor at his rally on Saturday on the topics of foreign policy, Covid-19 and issues with the US supply chain.

Amid frequent breaks to attack the media for not covering the size of his crowds, Mr Trump poked Mr Biden over resurgent missile tests undertaken by North Korea, the potential upcoming invasion of Ukraine by Russia, as well as the “most embarrassing” exit of US troops from Afghanistan, which he called a “surrender” of US forces.

Mr Trump also faulted Mr Biden for the availability of Americans’ Christmas presents, claiming: "we never even heard the term supply change” while he was president, apparently mispronouncing the term “supply chain”.

“Our country is being destroyed...its not even believable,” he told the crowd.

Trump takes stage at rally centered around election fraud lies

02:20 , John Bowden

Former President Donald Trump took the stage at his rally in Arizona on Saturday shortly after 7:15 p.m. Mountain time, where he followed a series of speakers who each repeated his false claims about the supposedly fraudulent 2020 election.

“They always talk about the Big Lie. Well, they’re the Big Lie,” he told a small crowd of supporters, falsely claiming that reporters were “in the pocket” of Democrats.

He went on to incorrectly claim that “more and more” information was coming out to suggest that he truly won in 2020.

Sheriff’s deputies arrest woman in Biden shirt at Trump rally

Saturday 15 January 2022 23:20 , Alex Woodward

Far-right media network Right Side Broadcasting Network filmed the arrest of a woman wearing a Joe Biden T-shirt at the site of Trump’s rally in Arizona. A clip shows two sheriff’s deputies binding her hands and carrying her away from the crowd as people chant “let’s go Brandon.”

Kevin McCarthy said Trump bears responsibility for Capitol attack, audio reveals

Saturday 15 January 2022 23:00 , Alex Woodward

Audio from the days of the Capitol riots reveals GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy saying that he believes Trump bears some responsibility – and that Trump told him that he also believes he also bears some responsibility – for the attack mounted by the former president’s supporters on 6 January.

The audio also reveals the congressman proposing a bipartisan committee to investigate the attack, a proposal that he later rejected. He also pulled Republican members of the select committee currently investigating the assault.

Bannon: Trump’s rally signals call to decertify Biden electors nationwide

Saturday 15 January 2022 22:48 , Alex Woodward

Steve Bannon says Trump’s rally signals the beginning of the “decertification process” of Biden electors in several battleground states that elected Biden in the 2020 presidential election. A number of GOP officials in several states have demanded audits into the results, with baseless claims of fraud and manipulation, in an attempt to re-litigate the election that the former president definitively lost.

“You cannot interpret this as anything but a declaration of war on democracy,” said US Rep Eric Swalwell. “We are in the endgame. We can resurrect democracy or lose it forever.”

Virginia’s new Republican governor signed 11 executive orders on his first day in office

Saturday 15 January 2022 22:30 , Alex Woodward

Virginia’s incoming Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin signed 11 executive orders after he was sworn into office on Saturday, including a repeal of a mask mandate and revoking a Covid-19 vaccine requirement for state workers.

He also banned “critical race theory” in schools and pledge to investigate “wrongdoing” in Loudon County, which has been ground zero for right-wing culture wars over the teaching of racism in public schools.

He also is withdrawing the state from an 11-state agreement to curb emissions.

Hillary Clinton invokes MLK’s criticism of ‘white moderates’ after Manchin and Sinema reject filibuster reform

Saturday 15 January 2022 22:10 , Alex Woodward

Hillary Clinton has invoked Martin Luther King Jr’s criticisms of “the white moderate “ in what appeared to be a thinly veiled rebuke of Democrats Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema after they rejected President Joe Biden’s urgent demands to change Senate filibuster rules that block passage of federal voting rights legislation.

She added: “This is a subtweet.”

Her tweet comes as voting rights advocates rally over the weekend in advance of the federal holiday recognising the late civil rights leader’s birthday.

Pro-Trump ‘propaganda’ channel One America News Network to lose its biggest TV distributor

Saturday 15 January 2022 21:45 , Alex Woodward

America's biggest satellite television provider has said it will cut the pro-Trump news channel One America News Network from its service, dealing a severe blow to one of the former president's most stalwart cheerleaders.

DirecTV, a distributor with about 15 million subscribers that is 70 per cent owned by the US telecoms giant AT&T, announced on Friday that it would not renew its contract with OANN when the current one expires. following “a routine internal review”.

Io Dodds reports:

Pro-Trump ‘propaganda’ outlet One America News Network to lose biggest distributor

Photos from Trump’s first rally of 2022

Saturday 15 January 2022 21:33 , Alex Woodward

The former president will hold his first rally of 2022 in Florence, Arizona, a state that has become a hotbed of election fraud conspiracy theories with a host of candidates for several public offices vying for his endorsement, as midterm campaigns are well underway.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)
 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)
 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

QAnon leaders join Trump rally crowd

Saturday 15 January 2022 21:04 , Alex Woodward

8chan administrator Jim Watkins and QAnon influencer Michael Protzman – who has amplified the conspiracy theory that the resurrection of JFK Jr is instrumental to Trump’s return to office – are attending Trump’s rally in Arizona on Saturday night, where a crowd started lining up overnight.

Other familiar Trump rally faces are documenting their visit, which is being broadcast by far-right media networks like One America News Network and Right Side Broadcasting Network.

Biden invokes voting rights protections in MLK Day proclamation

Saturday 15 January 2022 19:30 , Alex Woodward

In his proclamation recognising 2022’s Martin Luther King Jr Day, the president told Americans to reflect on the achievements of the civil rights movement and “continue his unfinished struggle.”

“That is why the Congress must pass federal legislation to protect the right to vote – a right that is under attack by a sinister combination of voter suppression and election subversion,” the president wrote, echoing his remarks against the wave of restrictive legislation passed by GOP state legislators in 2021.

“Just as in Dr King’s time, there are those who now say that change would be too disruptive and that these urgent needs can wait,” Mr Biden wrote. “But we must resist complacency, summon new resolve to advance the cause of freedom and opportunity, and do our part to bend the arc of the moral universe toward justice. This is the cause of our time. ... We all must find the courage to keep pushing forward in our struggle to realize Dr King’s dream for a freer, fairer, and more just society.”

Voting rights advocates rally in Phoenix to pressure Sinema on filibuster

Saturday 15 January 2022 19:24 , Alex Woodward

As a host of election deniers and conspiracy theorists prepare to take the stage in rural Florence, Arizona, voting rights advocates are rallying about 70 miles away in Phoenix to push the state’s Democratic Senator Kyrsten Sinema to adopt filibuster reform to pass federal legislation to protect the right to vote.

Activists also led a march and heard from Martin Luther King III, the oldest son of the late civil rights leader.

The march demands Arizona residents “call on Senator Sinema to urgently pass federal voting rights legislation and ensure that the Jim Crow filibuster does not stand in the way,” Mr King said in a statement.

The US recognises Martin Luther King Jr Day on Monday.

Trump takes shot at Arizona governor

Saturday 15 January 2022 18:47 , Alex Woodward

The day before his appearance in the state, Trump hit out at Arizona Governor Doug Doucey, a frequent target of the former president after he signed off on the results of the 2020 presidential election, while Trump allies continue to baselessly insist the results were fraudulent.

“Rumors are that Doug Ducey, the weak RINO Governor from Arizona, is being pushed by Old Crow Mitch McConnell to run for the U.S. Senate,” Trump said in a statement. “He will never have my endorsement or the support of MAGA Nation!”

Doucey has not indicated whether he plans to run for a Senate seat. He has no plans to attend Trump’s event.

Pence equates federal voting rights legislation with Capitol attack

Saturday 15 January 2022 17:28 , Alex Woodward

In an op-ed in The Washington Post, former VP Mike Pence condemned the mob that “ransacked the Capitol, largely to try to get Congress and me, as the president of the Senate, to use federal authority to overturn results of the presidential election that had been certified by all 50 states.”

He then characterised Republican attempts to restrict ballot access and consolidate electoral oversight into the hands of GOP-dominated legislatures as “measures to try to restore confidence in the integrity of our elections” in the wake of the attack.

He then accused Biden and congressional Democrats of leading “another power grab” with federal voting rights legislation, by using the “memory of Jan 6” to defend breaking up the filibuster.

That federal legislation would create national framework for voter registration, mail-in ballots, early voting and voter ID laws. It would also make Election Day a holiday, combat attempts to strip oversight from nonpartisan election authorities, and protect election workers from harassment and violence.

He compared such efforts to an attack on the Capitol that sought to stop the certification of votes representing millions of Americans, as a mob chanted that they were there to “hang” him.

He also falsely claimed that “the notion that Congress would break the filibuster rule to pass a law equaling a wholesale takeover of elections by the federal government is inconsistent with our nation’s history and an affront to our constitution’s structure.”

The US constitution gives Congress the ability to set rules for federal elections.

2020 election deniers take centre stage at Trump’s Arizona rally

Saturday 15 January 2022 16:39 , Alex Woodward

Trump is heading to Arizona, a hotbed of GOP-led conspiracy theories about the 2020 presidential election, where a figure central to the QAnon movement is running for Congress, election deniers are vying for major government posts that play critical roles in electoral oversight, and a far-right congressman accused of fantasizing about murdering Democrats has not faced any repurcussions in office.

The former president has made clear that fealty to his baseless narrative that the election was rigged against him is critical to earning his endorsement.

On the guest list at his rally on Saturday night: Kari Lake, a candidate for Arizona governor; US Reps Paul Gosar, Andy Biggs and Debbie Lesko; and Mike Lindell, among the most notorious election fraud conspiracy theorists who spent millions on a spurious campaign to overturn the results.

What is seditious conspiracy?

Saturday 15 January 2022 08:30 , Oliver O'Connell

The US Justice Department’s efforts to hold those responsible for the 6 January insurrection shifted into a higher gear this week with the unsealing of a 48-page indictment against Oath Keepers founder Elmer Stewart Rhodes and 10 other members of his right-wing militia group.

All but Mr Rhodes and another defendant – Edward Vallejo of Phoenix – had previously been charged with crimes for their roles in the worst attack on the Capitol since British troops commanded by Major General Robert Ross set it ablaze in 1814.

Prosecutors have filed criminal charges against more than 730 people over the year that has passed since the attack, but the indictment of Mr Rhodes and his alleged co-conspirators stands out because it charges them under a rarely used provision of law that can be found in the chapter of the US criminal code titled “Treason, Sedition, and Subversive Activities”.

What is seditious conspiracy and why is it a big deal?

Trump complains about Democratic push to end filibuster four years after calling for Republicans to do it

04:58 , John Bowden

The president’s remarks took at contradictory turn Saturday evening as Mr Trump addressed the ongoing push by Democrats including President Joe Biden to weaken the Senate’s filibuster provision and allow voting rights legislation to reach the floor for a vote.

He quipped during his speech that Democrats were trying to “knock out the filibuster and get things approved”, adding that the provision’s survival was “hanging by a thread.

But the ex-president was much more opposed to the rule itself when he was in office, and tweeted about it several times before he was banned from the platform.

"If Republican Senate doesn't get rid of the Filibuster Rule & go to a simple majority, which the Dems would do, they are just wasting time!" he wrote in 2017.

ICYMI: Oath Keepers leader charged for role in Jan 6 riot

Saturday 15 January 2022 06:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Elmer Stewart Rhodes, the founder of the right-wing militia group known as the Oath Keepers, has been arrested and charged with seditious conspiracy for his role in the 6 January attack on the US Capitol, according to the Department of Justice.

Oath Keepers leader arrested and charged for role in Jan 6 riot

United Blue America?

Saturday 15 January 2022 05:30 , Oliver O'Connell

When you crunch the numbers, a ‘national divorce’ between blue and red states starts looking pretty good — for Democrats, writes Benedict Cosgrove.

Republicans are flirting with secession. That might be a good idea — for Democrats

Texas AG given days to hand over Jan 6 texts

Saturday 15 January 2022 04:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has been given four days to hand over his digital communications from 6 January or face a lawsuit, the Travis County district attorney has stated.

Jade Bremner reports.

Texas Attorney General given four days to hand over Jan 6 texts

Interview: Mary Trump - From 2024 predictions to Donald’s psychological deterioration

Saturday 15 January 2022 03:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Mary Trump, Donald Trump’s niece, spoke to The Independent’s Andrew Feinberg about her uncle’s mental deterioration and possible 2024 run for president.

Mary Trump interview: From 2024 predictions to Donald’s psychological deterioration

Ray Epps: The Capitol riot figure who disappeared from the FBI’s wanted list

Saturday 15 January 2022 02:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Justin Vallejo reports.

Who is Ray Epps? The FBI’s Capitol riot figure who has not been charged

Jan 6 committee subpoenas records from social media giants

Saturday 15 January 2022 01:30 , Oliver O'Connell

The House select committee investigating the 6 January insurrection has issued subpoenas to Twitter, Reddit, and the parent companies of YouTube and Facebook for information “relating to the spread of misinformation, efforts to overturn the 2020 election, domestic violent extremism, and foreign influence in the 2020 election” after the companies spurned prior voluntary requests.

Andrew Feinberg reports.

January 6th committee subpoenas records from Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Reddit

ICYMI: New texts show Laura Ingraham worried about further violence after Capitol riot

Saturday 15 January 2022 00:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Fox News host Laura Ingraham worried about further violence after the Capitol riot on 6 January last year, a newly released text message has revealed.

Six days after the insurrection, on 12 January, Ingraham wrote to the then-Chief of Staff in the Trump White House, Mark Meadows, to ask him to urge then-President Donald Trump to speak to his supporters and dissuade them from mounting armed protests against the election results at state capitols across the country.

Gustaf Kilander and Tom Fenton report.

Laura Ingraham worried about further violence after Jan 6, text message reveals

Biden approval rating sinks to near Trump’s at same point in presidency

Friday 14 January 2022 23:30 , Oliver O'Connell

As Joe Biden approaches the first anniversary of his presidency, his approval rating is dwindling. It’s now approaching levels comparable to former President Donald Trump at the same time in his term.

Gustaf Kilander reports.

Biden’s approval rating almost as low as Trump’s was at same point in presidency

Proud Boys leader seen leaving jail

Friday 14 January 2022 22:47 , Oliver O'Connell

Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio left jail a month early wearing a T-shirt saying “free the Proud Boys by any means necessary” after saying he no longer wants to lead the far-right group.

Tarrio left the Central Detention Facility in Washington, DC on Friday after serving four months of his five-month sentence.

Gustaf Kilander reports.

Proud Boys leader seen leaving jail a month early with ‘Free the Proud Boys’ shirt

Pence: ‘Jan 6 was a power grab. So is busting the filibuster’

Friday 14 January 2022 22:25 , Oliver O'Connell

In a Washington Post op-ed stating his opposition to filibuster reforms, Mike Pence has made his most public statements about the 6 January US Capitol riot.

The former vice president writes:

Now that the anniversary of Jan. 6 has come and gone, some of us who lived through that tragic day in 2021 are getting a clearer picture of what was and is at stake. On Jan. 6, an angry mob ransacked the Capitol, largely to try to get Congress and me, as the president of the Senate, to use federal authority to overturn results of the presidential election that had been certified by all 50 states.

Lives were lost and many were injured, but thanks to the selfless and courageous work of law enforcement, the Capitol was secured, and Congress was able to reconvene the very same day and complete its work under the Constitution and laws of the United States.

Opposing the plan to end the filibuster and nationalise elections rather than leaving them up to the states, he continues:

Their plan to end the filibuster to allow Democrats to pass a bill nationalizing our elections would offend the Founders’ intention that states conduct elections just as much as what some of our most ardent supporters would have had me do one year ago.

What is seditious conspiracy?

Friday 14 January 2022 22:07 , Oliver O'Connell

Andrew Feinberg explains everything you need to know about the rarely used provision of law that can be found in the chapter of the US criminal code titled “Treason, Sedition, and Subversive Activities”.

What is seditious conspiracy and why is it a big deal?

Accused Capitol rioter Baked Alaska jailed for macing bouncer

Friday 14 January 2022 21:47 , Oliver O'Connell

White supremacist internet personality Baked Alaska, already facing charges for joining in on the 6 January riot at the US Capitol, was sentenced to 30 days jail time on Thursday for pepper-spraying a bouncer at a Scottsdale, Arizona, nightclub in fall 2020.

Prosecutors had sought a six-month sentence for the man, whose real name is Tim Gionet.

Josh Marcus reports.

Accused Capitol rioter Baked Alaska jailed for 30 days for macing Arizona bouncer

Michigan Republicans could face federal charges for signing fake electoral college certificates

Friday 14 January 2022 21:28 , Oliver O'Connell

A group of Michigan Republicans who signed fake documents purporting to award the state’s electoral votes to Donald Trump could be facing federal criminal charges, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said Thursday.

Speaking on MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show, Ms Nessel said her office had been “evaluating” charges for signers of the ersatz vote certificates “for nearly a year”.

“I will say that under state law, I think clearly you have forgery of a public record, which is a 14-year offense, and election law forgery, which is a five-year offense,” she said.

Andrew Feinberg reports.

Michigan Republicans could face federal charges for fake electoral certificates

Oath Keeper lawyer says client believed Trump would activate them as ‘militia under the insurrection act’

Friday 14 January 2022 21:08 , Oliver O'Connell

The lawyer for Stewart Rhodes, the leader of the Oath Keepers charged with seditious conspiracy, spoke with CNN’s Brianna Keilar on Friday morning

Attorney Jon Moseley said that the group’s planning “was about their fanciful idea that ... Trump was going to activate them as a militia under the insurrection act”.

Ms Keilar asked how Mr Moseley plans to defend his clients against conspiracy charges when the government has copious evidence that they planned a violent attack, including a stockpile of weapons in hotel rooms in Virginia, and Signal messages anticipating a “bloody fight”.

“Tell me how you defend against this,” she asked.

The interview was described as “extremely ill-advised” by Above the Law, and flagged up by lawyer George Conway simply with the word “Yikes”.

ICYMI: Jan 6th committee subpoenas records from Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Reddit

Friday 14 January 2022 20:48 , Oliver O'Connell

The House select committee investigating the 6 January insurrection has issued subpoenas to Twitter, Reddit, and the parent companies of YouTube and Facebook for information “relating to the spread of misinformation, efforts to overturn the 2020 election, domestic violent extremism, and foreign influence in the 2020 election” after the companies spurned prior voluntary requests.

Andrew Feinberg reports.

January 6th committee subpoenas records from Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Reddit

Trump to hold Texas rally on Jan 29

Friday 14 January 2022 20:31 , Oliver O'Connell

Former President Donald Trump will hold a rally in Conroe, Texas on 29 January. He already has a rally scheduled for Saturday in Florence, Arizona.

An advisor has said he plans to hold about two rallies per month leading up to the 2022 mid-term elections.

Proud Boys leader freed from jail after serving time for burning banner at Black church

Friday 14 January 2022 20:28 , Oliver O'Connell

A leader of the right-wing Proud Boys group, Enrique Tarrio, was released from jail on Friday after serving four months and a week for burning a Black Lives Matter banner at a historic African American church in Washington in December 2020.

Tarrio was among a group of Proud Boys who stole the banner during a demonstration in Washington on December 12, 2020. Tarrio then set it on fire, according to comments he made afterward. He pled guilty in July, was sentenced in August and began serving his jail sentence in September.

Tarrio did not take part in the deadly January. 6, 2021 riots at the US Capitol. He was arrested when he arrived in Washington two days before the failed bid to prevent Congress’ certification of Democrat Joe Biden’s November 2020 election win over then-President Donald Trump, a Republican.

The FBI has said his January 2021 arrest was to try to pre-empt the events of January 6 when several other members of the Proud Boys were taken into custody.

Those members of the right-wing group face charges including obstruction of law enforcement, destruction of government property, and conspiracy.

Reuters

Michael Avenatti suing over solitary confinement with Trump book

Friday 14 January 2022 20:19 , Oliver O'Connell

Michael Avenatti is suing the US government under claims that he suffered brutal treatment in jail, including only being allowed Donald Trump’s book The Art of the Deal to read.

Avenatti, 50, is seeking $94m in compensation under the Federal Tort Claims Act. $1m for each day he was in solitary confinement.

Jade Bremner reports.

Michael Avenatti sues for $94m claiming he’s been tormented by Trump’s book in jail

Texas attorney general must hand over Jan 6 texts

Friday 14 January 2022 19:59 , Oliver O'Connell

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has been given four days to hand over his digital communications from 6 January or face a lawsuit, the Travis County district attorney has stated.

Mr Paxton spoke at the pro-Trump rally ahead of the US Capitol attack and aided Donald Trump in his efforts to overturn the result of the 2020 election.

Jade Bremner reports.

Texas Attorney General given four days to hand over Jan 6 texts

‘He is a dangerous man'

Friday 14 January 2022 19:40 , Oliver O'Connell

Tasha Adams, the ex-wife of Stewart Rhodes, leader of the Oath Keeper, spoke with CNN this morning and called him a ‘dangerous man’.

Mr Rhodes has been indicted by the Department of Justice on charges of seditious conspiracy for his role in the January 6 Capitol riot.

Daily Show: RIP ‘no sedition charges'

Friday 14 January 2022 19:20 , Oliver O'Connell

ICYMI: Oath Keepers leader arrested and charged for role in Jan 6 riot

Friday 14 January 2022 19:01 , Oliver O'Connell

Elmer Stewart Rhodes, the founder of the right-wing militia group known as the Oath Keepers, has been arrested and charged with seditious conspiracy for his role in the 6 January attack on the US Capitol, according to the Department of Justice.

Andrew Feinberg reports from Washington, DC.

Oath Keepers leader arrested and charged for role in Jan 6 riot

Ohio Supreme Court rejects GOP-drawn congressional map

Friday 14 January 2022 18:46 , Oliver O'Connell

The Ohio Supreme Court rejected a new map of state congressional districts Friday as gerrymandered, sending the blueprint back for another try.

In the 4-3 decision, justices returned the map to the powerful Ohio Redistricting Commission, or its map-drawing counterparts in the Legislature, and said they must assure the next plan actually complies with the Ohio Constitution.

Three of seven justices — including Justice Pat DeWine, son of Republican Gov. Mike DeWine, a named plaintiff in the cases — dissented.

AP

Covid death toll under Biden soon to eclipse those lost under Trump

Friday 14 January 2022 18:26 , Oliver O'Connell

The death toll from Covid-19 during the presidency of Joe Biden will soon overtake the number of people who died from the illness while Donald Trump was in the White House.

The number of dead Americans from Covid-19 had surpassed 846,000 on Friday. During Mr Trump’s last 10 months in office, 425,000 people died from Covid-19. During Mr Biden’s leadership, 421,000 people have died.

Gustaf Kilander reports.

Covid death toll under Biden will soon overtake number dead under Trump

What would America look like after secession?

Friday 14 January 2022 18:02 , Oliver O'Connell

It could look pretty good for Democrats, writes Benedict Cosgrove.

Republicans are flirting with secession. That might be a good idea — for Democrats

Trump celebrates Katko not running again

Friday 14 January 2022 17:53 , Oliver O'Connell

The former president told supporters: “Great news, another one bites the dust. Katko, from Upstate New York, is gone!”

McCarthy says Trump has responsibility for Jan 6 in audio clip

Friday 14 January 2022 17:50 , Oliver O'Connell

This audio clip has come back to haunt Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

In it, he says Donald Trump has responsibility for the January 6th riot and admitted as much. He also strongly urges a commission investigates the attack on the US Capitol.

On Thursday he said he didn’t remember telling lawmakers that the former president took responsibility.

Third House Republican who voted to impeach Trump won’t run again

Friday 14 January 2022 17:35 , Oliver O'Connell

John Katko of New York has become the third House Republican that voted to impeach former-President Donald Trump to announce he will not run for reelection this year.

“My conscience, principles, and commitment to do what’s right have guided every decision I’ve made as a Member of Congress, and they guide my decision today.”

He’s the ranking member of the Homeland Security Committee, in line to be chairman were the House to flip from the Democrats to the GOP. He also voted for the infrastructure bill.

Given the nature of his Democrat-leaning district, it may be tough for a Republican to win it again without a moderate running.

A look at the fake 2020 election documents created by state Republicans

Friday 14 January 2022 17:10 , Andrew Naughtie

CNN’s Marshall Cohen has pulled together screenshots from the false documents claiming that Biden-voting states were in fact sending pro-Trump electors to Washington, DC after the 2020 election.

Michigan Republicans in trouble over challenge to election results

Friday 14 January 2022 16:52 , Andrew Naughtie

One of the myriad tactics used by Trump supporters after the 2020 election was the submission of fake documents purporting to award their states’ electoral votes to Donald Trump instead of Joe Biden – and now, more than a year later, some of those who tried it could soon be held to account.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said yesterday that under state law, the creation and submission of the document signed by 16 state Republicans could constitute “forgery of a public record, which is a 14-year offence, and election law forgery, which is a five-year offence”.

Andrew Feinberg has the story:

Michigan Republicans could face federal charges for fake electoral certificates

Trump clan tout prospect of a 2024 comeback – against Hillary Clinton

Friday 14 January 2022 16:30 , Andrew Naughtie

As the tectonic plates of a Trump re-election campaign continue to shift, the ex-president’s daughter-in-law Lara took to Fox & Friends to suggest that if Hillary Clinton ran for president again in 2024, she would lose to her onetime rival again.

“It turns out that people didn't like her ideas as much as Donald Trump's,” Ms Trump said of the 2016 outcome. “and now that we have had a Trump presidency, should it be Hillary versus Trump again? I don't think it is even a question. People are desperate to get Donald Trump back in office.”

Contrary to Ms Trump’s analysis, the electorate in fact voted for Ms Clinton by a margin of nearly 3 million; Mr Trump defeated her by fewer than 100,000 votes combined in the electoral college. The idea she might run again has been floated by various commentators in recent days, but as Eric Garcia writes, “there are many reasons to not take this argument seriously”.

No, Hillary Clinton is not running for president again

Texas GOP official in hot water over Capitol riot texts

Friday 14 January 2022 16:03 , Andrew Naughtie

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who spoke at a rally on 6 January in advance of the attack on the Capitol, has been given four days to hand over his digital communications from the day or face a lawsuit.

The complaint against him claims that he has failed to comply with the Texas Public Information Act, which subjects his official communications to public release.

Jade Bremner has the story:

Texas Attorney General given four days to hand over Jan 6 texts

Friday 14 January 2022 15:37 , Andrew Naughtie

The Bulwark’s Amanda Carpenter, a former Ted Cruz aide turned merciless Trump critic, writes that the sedition charges brought against members of the Oath Keepers are a major blow to one of the key right-wing lines on the Capitol attack – that the lack of sedition or insurrection charges proved there was nothing there.

On the contrary, she writes, the indictment against the Oath Keepers “describes a series of very disturbing actions by people who had carefully laid plans for war”.

Read more below:

Can the Democrats hold the Senate?

Friday 14 January 2022 15:15 , Andrew Naughtie

The Independent’s Eric Garcia foresees trouble for the Democrats’ wafer-thin majority in the upper chamber of Congress:

Proud Boy charged with 6 January offences cries in court as judge revokes his pretrial release

Friday 14 January 2022 14:55 , Andrew Naughtie

Law & Crime reports on the case against Joshua Pruitt, a Proud Boy who was captured on video inside the Capitol on 6 January. Having repeatedly violated conditions of a court-ordered curfew while under an eight-count indictment.

The article quotes him making tearful statements at the hearing:

“I’m sorry,” Pruitt began, audibly crying as he spoke. “I went through hell over the last year.” Pruitt described being fired from one job, and said that on at least one occasion he couldn’t make it back home due to a snow storm.

“I’m trying to do things right,” he told [US District Judge Timothy] Kelly. “But I’m being attacked left and right. I get death threats all the time. This is what I’m dealing with right now. I get lied about in the media, I’m working with lawyers to work on that.”

Read more here:

Trump enemy’s name circulates in Senate race speculation

Friday 14 January 2022 14:29 , Andrew Naughtie

One of the handful of senior Republicans to stand up to Donald Trump after the 2020 election was Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, who rejected the baseless claim that his state’s vote was deliberately manipulated in favour of Joe Biden.

While Mr Ducey has previously said he is not considering a run for another office, a report in Politico has stoked speculation that he could run enter the Republican Senate primary to challenge Democrat Mark Kelly this November. That would throw a major curveball into the Arizona election itself and the national Senate game more widely – but reaction to the story has been mixed.

Congressman who tweeted Nazi-vaccine comparison loses press aide

Friday 14 January 2022 14:05 , Andrew Naughtie

According to Capitol Hill reporter Taylor Popielarz, Congressman Warren Davidson has lost his communications director over a tweet from his office’s official account that compared vaccine mandates to policies enacted by the Nazi Party.

After a public outcry, the congressman has since apologised for drawing the parallel.

Lawyer for Oath Keepers leader rants about “the Left’s REICHSTAG FIRE”

Friday 14 January 2022 13:45 , Andrew Naughtie

Jonathon Moseley, an attorney for indicted Oath Keepers leader Steward Rhodes, has been tweeting furiously since his client was indicted on sedition charges – claiming, among other things, that 6 January investigators are mounting a “malicious prosecution”, that “January 6 was the Left’s REICHSTAG FIRE”, and that “We know that prosecutors know that we know that they are lying”.

Earlier this week, he also tweeted at Fox News’s Tucker Carlson to pitch a Rhodes interview for the host’s show.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting